BloombergNEF’s annual Electric Vehicle Outlook forecasts trends in electrification, shared mobility and autonomous driving. The 2020 edition predicts a promising long-term future for EVs, and makes a number of interesting predictions.
The authors see little danger that EV adoption will be derailed by the current health crisis, saying that ongoing cost and technology improvements will outweigh the temporary impacts of the pandemic. “Some near-term EV model launches will be delayed, but manufacturers so far are sticking to their long-term electrification commitments.”
ICE vehicles are definitely on their way out. “Sales of internal combustion passenger peaked in 2017 and are in permanent decline, but the fleet [will continue] growing until 2030,” say the authors.
Bloomberg’s analysts expect EVs to account for 10% of global passenger vehicle sales by 2025, 28% by 2030, and 58% by 2040. To EV boosters, these figures may sound overly conservative, but they make more sense when you remember that they refer to the entire world. “Some markets achieve much higher penetrations, but low adoption in emerging markets reduces the global average.”
Bloomberg expects price parity between EVs and legacy vehicles to be reached in the mid-2020s, but notes that the timing will vary widely across different regions and different vehicle classes. The first segment to reach the tipping point will be large cars in Europe, which will achieve price parity by 2022.
China and Europe will continue to be the leading EV markets, thanks to government policies—together they will represent 72% of passenger EV sales in 2030. Automakers will continue to focus their passenger EV efforts on these markets, and the US will fall further behind. (Bloomberg does see hope that the US will catch up in the 2030s.)
Vehicles other than passenger cars will continue rapidly electrifying in the decade ahead. Small vehicles such as scooters, mopeds, motorcycles, tuk-tuks and rickshaws are important parts of the vehicle market in developing countries. Bloomberg says 30% of global two- and three-wheeler sales and 20% of the existing fleet are already electric. China accounts for most of the action so far, but sales are ramping up in markets such as Taiwan, Vietnam and India.
Transit buses are slowly but steadily electrifying. Bloomberg expects e-buses to make up 67% of the global bus fleet in 2040, but it believes diesel and hydrogen fuel cell buses will hang on in areas where installing charging infrastructure is difficult, or where temperatures are extreme (BYD, which recently sold 13 e-buses to a town in far northern Sweden, might dispute that prediction).