Report: Meeting world fuel economy standards will require 16% market share for EVs by 2020

2015 Kia Soul EV

Governments around the world have established aggressive fuel economy standards, and meeting them will require a substantial percentage of the planet’s vehicle fleet to be converted to electricity (despite the desperate hopes of many auto company execs).

New research by the World Energy Council (WEC) attempts to answer the question of just how many EVs will be required.

In “World Energy Perspective 2016: E-mobility: closing the emissions gap,” the WEC argues that EVs will need to increase their combined market share to 16% by 2020 in order to meet the targets set by regulators. That market share is currently less than 1%.

The world’s three largest auto markets – China, the EU and the US – have a collective annual demand of over 40 million passenger vehicles. All three have set fuel economy improvement targets around 30%. The difference between those targets and the fuel economy increases that can be delivered by expected new ICE technology is what the WEC calls the “emissions gap.”

For the US, the emissions gap translates to 0.9 million cars, or 11% of estimated 2020 sales. The comparable figure for the EU is around 10% of sales, and for China, 22% of sales.

Reaching the 16% market share figure that would close the gap will obviously require automakers to radically rethink their electrification plans. But the auto industry is not the only sector that will face major changes.

“To help close the emissions gap through more widespread adoption of EVs, utilities need to play a critical role,” said Stuart Solomon, Managing Director of Accenture Strategy, which collaborated on the report, “not only to ensure a reliable electricity supply, given the added pressure from plugging more EVs into an already stressed grid network, but also by making sure that any added demand for electricity to power EVs increasingly comes from clean power sources.”


Source: World Energy Council

  • brian_gilbert

    By going completely driverless with all vehicles hired by the trip the number of vehicles required drops like a stone. So providing the existing technology is made available to all vehicle manufacturers the vehicles required can be produced within one year of tooling up. The side effects will be enormous but the financial savings can smooth the change.

    • Jim Fox

      For once, Brian I tend to agree with you. Whatever next!

    • timerbeltkiller

      The privately owned car sitting idle 90% of the time is already today
      more a problem than a benefit in mega and giga city clusters.
      Hence hired by the trip self drive vehicles without pedals, steering wheels etc might very well make BEVs obsolete before they grow into big numbers.

      The privately owned car will then mostly be found in sparsely populated
      rural areas. Areas that it looks like will rapidly decrease their percentage of the world population.

  • Jim Fox

    The hardest part is not the technology but rather ‘changing the status quo’.
    Ever since beginning to follow electrification and clean energy I’ve puzzled over how this will happen and still don’t know.
    IF ONLY we had global operation of LFTR’s this doubt might be resolved.
    BTW it seems the USA and others are having doubts about fusion and the ITER project.
    This is very good news- the sooner those billions are diverted to LFTR the better.

  • Ramon A. Cardona

    In a recent report, VP Al Gore regarded the progress since his film, An Inconvenient Truth, was issued. Since them, solar and wind power has spread around the planet; coal power plants have shutdown; there are billions being invested in electric cars and plug-in hybrids; more car makers are selling these cars; and the technology as to battery range and fast charging is improving. Tesla, with major obstacles conquered, has shown the way. The tipping point is within five years. Steam, electricity and paved roads took time to develop. The book, Ruling of the Waves, by D. Spar, catalogs past developments. For 2016, the world shall see over 15 billion miles driven using electricity. That is happening in less than 7 years!!!