The Future of Electric Cars: What to Expect in the Next Decade

The automotive industry is undergoing a revolution as electric vehicles become increasingly prominent on roads worldwide. Love or loathe them, electric cars are here to stay, with several countries phasing out the production of new fossil fuel vehicles over the next few decades. With technological advancements, changes in consumer preferences, and stricter environmental regulations, the next decade looks to be transformative for electric vehicles. Here’s what to expect.

The Current Landscape of Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles accounted for approximately 10 percent of global sales in 2023, a significant increase from previous years. That number is set to rise with an increasing number of manufacturers shifting their focus from the traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) to electric power. Chevrolet, Nissan, and Tesla have led the charge, pardon the pun, but automakers such as General Motors, Ford, and Volkswagen are getting in on the action.

The phasing out of petrol and diesel vehicles doesn’t sit right with many drivers. Personally, as someone whose bucket list involves driving the length and breadth of the United States in a growling V8, enjoying online sportsbooks in California, trying my luck in Las Vegas, attending a barn dance in Texas, and getting neckache from looking up in The Big Apple, the thought of an all-electric vehicle sends shudders down my spine.

Most fears revolve around the range of electric vehicles, particularly if you plan a long journey like the one I dream about. Traditional ICE cars can fill up at a gas station in a couple of minutes, and you’re on your way, whereas electric vehicles require charging, some much more frequently than others.

Innovations in Battery Technology

Electric vehicles’ range, cost, and efficiency largely depend on battery technology. Every manufacturer is striving to improve battery technology as they try producing electric cars that are fast, quick, and have plenty of range. Currently, the average range of an electric car is around 300 miles, but that rapidly plummets based on driving conditions.

Lucid Motors, a California-based manufacturer, has developed a prototype called Lucid Air. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rated it as having a 520-mile (840-kilometer) range on a single charge, which would be a game-changer.

Solid-state batteries are the next giant leap for electric vehicles. The lithium-ion batteries used today contain a liquid electrolyte that hinders energy density, is dangerous if the vehicle is involved in an accident, and limits how quickly the battery can be charged. QuantumSpace and Toyota are investing heavily in solid-state batteries, which could lead to faster charging time, improved safety, and higher energy density.

Energy density, or a lack of it, is a significant challenge battery manufacturers must overcome. A liter of gasoline contains the equivalent of 8.9 kWh of electricity. A typical Tesla Model 3 has 57.5 kWh of usable battery; the same as 6.5 liters of gasoline. Expect manufacturers to plow unfathomable sums of money into developing battery technology with energy density levels we have never seen before.

The future of electric vehicles also includes much faster charging times. Advances in charging technology and infrastructure combined with the new solid-state batteries are expected to reduce the time needed to charge an electric vehicle significantly. Chargers capable of delivering 350 kW or more are in development. They can charge a typical electric vehicle in a few minutes rather than hours. Such a network would make electric cars more comparable to traditional gasoline vehicles in terms of convenience.

The Role of Autonomous Driving in the Future of Electric Vehicles

Autonomous driving technology is intrinsically linked with the future of electric vehicles. Many electric cars are already equipped with advanced driver-assistance systems, and fully autonomous vehicles are within touching distance. This technology promises several benefits, including increased efficiency and improved safety.

The technology behind autonomous driving can optimize routes and reduce energy consumption. It can also automatically find traffic news and avoid traffic jams and other congested areas. Where a human driver would likely take a familiar route, autonomous cars would take the quickest or most efficient route, altering it along the way based on road conditions and many other factors.

There is also an argument that autonomous vehicles can significantly reduce accidents caused by human error. Google has been testing this technology, and its cars have driven approximately 4 million miles and experienced 76 percent fewer accidents than human-driven cars. Statistics from insurance giant Swiss Re show that for every million miles traveled, human drivers filed 3.26 property damage claims compared to 0.78  from Google’s Waymo tech users.

Despite those impressive accident figures, it remains to be seen whether people would be willing to put their lives in the hands of sensors and complex algorithms on a mass scale.

Environmental Benefits and Challenges

Electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions, making them significantly greener than traditional ICE vehicles. As the electricity grid becomes greener, the overall carbon footprint of electric vehicles will decrease. However, the environmental cost of mining for the materials such as cobalt, lithium, and nickel required for battery manufacture is substantial and must be addressed.

Thankfully, advancements in battery recycling technologies are afoot, making batteries more sustainable. A whole new industry is forming that is purely focused on extracting used battery materials and using them in new vehicles.

Perhaps the biggest challenge the electric vehicle industry faces is the increase in demand for electricity. There are approximately 285 million cars on American roads. Imagine all those required charging; the current network would be nowhere near up to the task. Experts must find ways of ensuring electricity demand is met with renewable energy sources; otherwise, the environmental benefits of electric vehicles will be pointless.


The future of electric vehicles is bright, thanks to significant advancements in battery technology and charging infrastructure. With governments worldwide wanting to phase out traditional ICE vehicles, we can expect some far-reaching incentives to emerge as they attempt to get people to adopt electric cars.

It’s clear electric vehicles will play a pivotal role in transforming the automotive industry whether traditionalists like it or not.