The thing about ICE – petrol or diesel – is that they are an extremely ingenious way of of converting high energy density fuel into a rotary motion. They are also very cheap to make and there is a whole infrastructure to support them. They are also very light and nowadays relatively fuel efficient and clean burning. Small turbo petrol engines are astonishing. There are 1.2L capacity engines now used where in earlier times you’s expect to see at least 2.0L .
If you want low fuel use efficient vehicles among your greatest enemies is weight. The more weight you add the more weight you need to add. Thusly by adding a one tonne battery pack to a vehicle you need to proportionally increase the strength of the structure, bigger brakes, heavier duty suspension and so on. So all things being equal the lighter you make a vehicle the better. This applies to all classes of vehicle and road vehicles.
So adding batteries to cars is a bit of blind alley because they are very heavy, have low energy density, very expensive (and as they use lots of rare minerals I very much doubt that they going to get cheaper), they take ages to re-charge (for which there is no infrastructure) and they have a limited life (a recent study said about 5 to 8 years / 80,000 kilometers – at which point the vehicle is effectively scrap value).
An alternative to batteries is hydrogen fuel cells. But these are also expensive to make and rather delicate.
Luckily along comes that Damn’d market thing. Given that we are being told (albeit erroneously) that CO2 is evil people have got beavering away – some of them in sheds (a very good thing – lots of good stuff comes out of sheds). And there are emerging some very likely superior to batteries ideas.
Exhibit one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19Q7nAYjAJY (I have also heard that Jag is working on the same thing).
An ICE powered by hydrogen. Seems like a plan. The emissions, the by-product of combustion is water.
As to infrastructure. You can imaging one of those roll on roll off container lorries delivering a contained of hydrogen very easily to an existing forecourt.
Exhibit two. https://www.connaughtmotorcompany.uk/ This outfit has a low revving (i.e. slow speed diesel) on the stocks which is clean.
Exhibit three. https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.fia-deliver-first-barrels-of-sustainable-fuel-to-f1-power-unit-manufacturers.7G1Jgfox1YTVzjhhzZxNSt.html – racing improving the breed.
Exhibit 4a. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/carbon-engineering-liquid-fuel-carbon-capture-neutral-science
Exhibit 4b. https://sustainingourworld.com/2019/09/19/3-ways-to-make-liquid-fuel-from-carbon-dioxide/
Exhibit five. I was speaking with someone who’s son works in F1 as a power train engineer. One of the F1 teams is developing a two stroke petrol engine that revs to 24,000 (!) and is clean.
It’s going to be easy to switch a petrol tank to an hydrogen tank (many people have already converted V8 Range Rovers to LPG) and crucially we can make LIGHT CARS (heavy cars being a particular hobby horse of mine).
As long as the ecomentalist watermelons and the bonkers government can be nailed down the ICE is clearly not dead.
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