The challenge of meeting reducing emission targets is reshaping the automotive industry and is a major global challenge. There is a limit to the extent to which tailpipe emissions from internal combustion engines can be further reduced. To meet emissions targets, electrification of the power-train (engine of the car) will have to occur. Current studies suggest that Electric Vehicles will make up 40-95% of all vehicles using alternative power-trains by 2050.There is debate on whether Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) or FCEVs, both electric power-trains with zero tailpipe emissions, will make the most significant inroads into the current power-train mix.
No vehicle is currently able to satisfy all of the criteria for economics, performance and the environment, which is why a McKinsey study (McKinsey: A portfolio of power-trains for Europe: a fact-based analysis) has indicated that over the next 40 years we will see a mix of power-trains, with BEVs gaining preference for shorter trips and FCEVs showing growth in larger cars for longer trips. Where sustainably produced biofuels are available, Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) are also likely to become a competitive option for shorter trips.