Deloitte predicts electric vehicles to number 21mn by 2030

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Following news that global electric vehicle (EV) sales surpassed the 1mn units mark for the first time in 2017, Deloitte has released a new report predicting the exponential growth of EVs over the next decade.

The report details how changing customer perceptions, technological advancements and greater intervention from governments are combining to drive EV adoption. Policies and regulations have facilitated the growth of EV markets, supported by innovation and investment by manufacturers.

These policies and regulations include fuel economy and emissions targets; financial incentives such as subsidies and tax exemptions; and planned city access restrictions which will ban gas and diesel cars in cities. Approximately 20 cities worldwide have announced plans to implement such restrictions by 2030 or earlier.

However, Mike Hughes, Zone President of UK and Ireland for French energy company Schneider Electric, argues: ‘Government policies need to go beyond incentivising greener vehicles and penalising diesel and petrol cars. To enable real, widespread change, business and governments will need to address the infrastructure challenges this growth will fuel. One of the biggest challenges  ahead is managing the energy demand to power large numbers of electric vehicles on our roads.’

To meet these challenges, Hughes suggests that governments ‘consider policies that encourage the development of micro grids, dynamic energy management and truly smart meters that can optimise existing infrastructure and encourage pro-sumerism – the ability for consumers to return energy to the grid when it is needed – and be fairly compensated for that energy’. 

Meanwhile, technological advancements, such as the optimisation of battery cells, faster battery charging and increased driving ranges are helping to ease customer concerns about the viability of EV adoption. These changes in customer perception will help to grow demand over the next decade.

Combined, these factors will lead to what Deloitte describe as a ‘tipping point’ in 2022, when the cost of EV ownership is on par with internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts. Once this tipping point is reached, it is estimated that EVs will become a much more viable option for new car buyers, leading to an increased share of the automotive market – reaching an estimated 10% by 2024. 

Deloitte’s latest outlook shows sales shifting from 2mn units in 2018, to 12mn in 2025, to 21 mn in 2030 as the cost of manufacturing batteries falls significantly. By 2030, EVs will account for 70% of electric vehicle sales.

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