Some of the biggest carmakers voiced fresh unease about the electric car market's growth as concerns over the viability of these vehicles put their multi-billion-dollar electrification strategies at risk.
GM's Mary Barra announced with its quarterly results that it's abandoning its targets to build 100,000 EVs in the second half of this year and another 400,000 by the first six months of 2024. But GM doesn't know when it will hit those targets.
"It's clear that we're dealing with a lot of near-term uncertainty," said Barra. "The transition to EVs, that will have ups and downs."
Tesla's Elon Musk warned on a recent earnings call that economic concerns would lead to waning vehicle demand, even for the long-time EV market leader.
Mercedes-Benz is having to discount its EVs by several thousand dollars just to get them in customers' hands.
Its CFO Harald Wilhelm said on an analyst call that this was a brutal space.
"I can hardly imagine the current status quo is fully sustainable for everybody."
Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda [no really. ed] said people are "finally seeing reality" regarding EVs. "I have continued to say what I see as reality," Toyoda, who recently stepped down as Toyota's CEO, said.
"There are many ways to climb the mountain that is achieving carbon neutrality," such as hybrids and plug-in hybrids, which have long made up a significant share of Toyota's EV sales.
"The reason (hybrids) are so powerful is because they fit the needs of so many customers," Toyota North America's vice president of sales Bob Carter told CNBC last year.
"The demand for hybrid has been strong. We expect it to continue to grow as the entire industry transitions over to electrification later this decade."
However, perhaps the elephant in the room is that EVs are far too expensive for anyone to buy. Those with the sort of cash to splash out on one do not need an electric vehicle and will have changed their cars several times before EVs become compulsory.
Rather than trying to find cheap electric cars which are designed for city motoring, car manufacturers have been investing in hyper-expensive large cars and SUVs which are no use in the city and out of anyone’s price range.