The pace of electrification in the motor industry is picking up at an astonishing rate.
The coming year is regarded as a major step forward in that most carmakers will have models boosted in some shape or form by a battery.
That could mean electric, mild-hybrid, plug-in or ordinary hybrid.
Significantly, the real take-off in “pure” electric vehicle buying is being forecast for the following year, 2021.
That’s because a number of carmakers will have new vehicles coming on stream or in greater numbers by then.
As many as one in five new cars sold in Ireland in 2021 will be electric, senior motoring industry executives are forecasting now.
But there are so many things going on all at once these days that lots of potential buyers are confused.
For starters, they need to be reassured that it doesn’t mean the end of the road overnight for diesels and petrols. In addition, they need to be told that much of the talk around EVs will demystify as time passes and we all become more accustomed to thinking electric.
There is a huge learning curve involved and carmakers face a challenge in educating those currently driving internal combustion engined (ICE) vehicles about what is best for them.
The scope and breadth of that challenge struck me forcefully yesterday at the first viewing in Ireland of the new ID.3 electric vehicle from Volkswagen.
Gerrit Heimberg, the brand director of Volkswagen Ireland, described the vehicle as a milestone’
It is – for Volkswagen, the industry and for thousands of motorists.
Around 400 potential customers have pre-ordered a special edition ID.3 which is due here by the summer.
All the 400 or so who have pre-ordered (and have paid a refundable €1,000 deposit) have been invited to Weston airport, Lucan, Co Dublin, for special workshops on the car.
There are Volkswagen experts from across a range of disciplines (engineering, technology, finance, customer care, charging etc) on hand to answer questions in detail.
It is the sort of interaction facing most distributors here and one that will be replicated many, many times over the coming months and years.
There still remains a mystery and fear around electric vehicles among a lot of the buying public.
We shouldn’t forget either that the vast majority of purchases for quite a while yet to come will be diesel, petrol, hybrids and plug-ins.
Drivers of such cars are, rightly, concerned (and confused in many cases) about what to do next.
Hold on for one more new ICE-car transaction or take the electric route?
They need all the expert help and advice they can get.