A new white paper from Navigant Research forecasts global EV sales of over 346,000 units in 2014. Navigant sees expansion at the higher end of the market, as Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes, Saab, and Volvo introduce new plug-in models; and in the middle, with new offerings from Kia, Mahindra, Skoda, and Volkswagen.
“Electric Vehicles: 10 Predictions for 2014” also names 10 trends to watch in 2014:
- Automakers will push for changes in the California ZEV mandates. California’s zero emission vehicle (ZEV) regulations require volume automakers to sell a minimum number of EVs each year in the state. The required sales levels are not likely to be met, and Navigant predicts that the automakers will pressure lawmakers in California and the other states that voluntarily follow the ZEV mandate to water down the rules.
- Tesla will have a bumpy year. The company has had a nearly flawless record of execution thus far, but it will face a set of new challenges this year, as it tries to scale up production, and faces the first real competition in the luxury EV space. Even the smallest of missteps will be exaggerated by the media.
- Electric motorcycles break out. Navigant believes that 2014 could be the year of the e-motorcycle – which won’t be a surprise to those who’ve been following the news from companies like Energica, Brammo and Mission.
- EV makers pursue revenue beyond vehicle sales. Automakers such as BMW and Daimler are launching their own carsharing programs and partnering with energy aggregators and utilities to offer demand response and ancillary services.
- Fuel cell car launches will spur a new round of “fuel cell vehicle versus battery electric vehicle” hype. The media frenzy will include contrived “BEV versus FCV” debates.
- EVs will play a leading role in carshare growth. Navigant looks for startups, traditional car rental agencies, and car makers to attempt to replicate the successful Parisian AutoLib program.
- Wireless charging moves from the lab to the street. The first commercial wireless charging products will be shipping soon.
- EVs will reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the US by more than 1 million tons.
- More than 2.2 million electric-drive motors will ship in 2014. The next wave of technology is likely to be electrification of ancillaries such as power steering, brake assist, and air conditioning.
- Vehicle-to-grid pilot projects will expand and begin generating revenue across the US. The Federal Electricity Regulatory Commission’s Order 755 plays to the strength of EV batteries and enhances the potential revenue that EVs can earn for grid stabilization services.