Electric vehicles are here to stay. But if “EV” makes you think Tesla or the new all-electric Ford Mustang, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Virtually all car and truck makers are working on all-electric vehicles, and that is a godsend for Detroit, where the automotive talent pool is deep.
Detroit mainstays like Ford and GM are, of course, working on electric vehicles. But quite a few startups are making waves in Motor City, and in ways you might not expect. For example, Fontaine Modification is a Detroit company that converts school buses to electric. Another startup, Rivian, is working on electric delivery vans for Amazon, which has already ordered 100,000 of the vehicles. And Detroit’s Bollinger Motors is building luxury electric pickups and SUVs.
There are many advantages to electric vehicles. There’s less maintenance, cheaper fuel, and fewer parts. And now, with so many companies working on the technology, the advantage over fossil-fuel vehicles is likely to widen. As companies develop lighter and more powerful batteries, electric vehicles are going to be big for Detroit, where engineers already understand how to build and refine automobiles.