Electric vehicles (EVs) have been on the scene now for many years. An important tool in the race to combat global warming, they are steadily gaining market share. Soon they are expected to become the dominant choice.
Observers of the industry assert that EVs are on the cusp of rapid growth. The non-profit Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Palo Alto, Calif., predicts that the number of EV models available to American consumers will more than triple in the next three years, from roughly 40 models to 127. The comments were made in a virtual seminar hosted by EPRI and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in December.
The number of EVs on the road is likely to experience an even steeper trajectory. The EPRI projects EVs to comprise 40% of new car purchases by 2030, up from 2% today. In the same time frame, it expects EVs to make up 18% of total vehicle miles traveled.
Other analysts are making similar forecasts. The Electric Vehicle Outlook 2020, published by BloombergNEF, New York, earlier this year, predicts that by 2025, EVs will hit 10% of global passenger vehicle sales, rising to 28% in 2030 and 58% in 2040.
BloombergNEF also sees tremendous EV growth in other vehicle sectors, especially buses. The report projects that electric buses will comprise over 67% of the global bus fleet in 2040.
Much of the projected growth of EVs in the coming years is pegged to the declining costs of batteries. Estimated costs range from $80 to $120 per kilowatt-hour. Within this range, EVs are starting to achieve cost parity with their competitors, internal combustion engine vehicles.
The rapid growth of EVs is also placing new demands on the infrastructure needed to support the change in vehicle preferences. BloombergNEF estimates that about 290 million charging points will be needed globally by 2040 to support the growing EV fleet. It projects cumulative investment in all types of charging hardware and installation to reach $500 billion globally, also by 2040.