Asian Markets To Lead Electric Vehicle Revolution, Says KPMG Study
In its 13th Annual Global Automotive Executive Study, the firm examined attitudes towards future motoring technology over the next 15 years, and advised manufacturers to have a clearer view of the market. China, expected to be the world’s biggest car market, is also one of the most receptive to electromobility.
Mathieu Meyer, KPMG partner and head of automotive for Europe, commented: ‘Compared to previous years’ results, the findings this year tell us that auto experts have no clear idea of the direction the industry is heading. One thing is certain, electromobility is the most critical trend for the industry—how and when fully-electric cars will be a reality is dependent on a variety of complex and interrelated factors.’
Fuel efficiency has become a major deciding factor in car buying decisions, with 76% of KPMG’s respondents naming this as the most important statistic among consumers, while environmental friendliness was the second most cited deciding factor.
Yet two thirds of respondents said they don’t expect electric vehicles to exceed 15% of annual global sales within the next 15 years. In the United States, almost half of all responses said they believe electric vehicles will account for less than 10% of vehicle sales in 2025.
By comparison, respondents in Asia reported a more optimistic potential take-up for electromobility. In China, over half said they expect between 11% and 25% of vehicles sold will be powered by electricity, representing between four and nine million units. The Japanese market is equally positive, with 46% of those surveyed predicting a 25% share of sales will be electric vehicles.
The market is also predicted to change as carmakers invest in the technology. Over half of those surveyed said electric component manufacturers will increase their market foothold, while 40% said OEMs with existing automotive expertise will be the market leaders for electromobility too.
KPMG also reported that hybrids were expected to be the driving force in the market and become the preferred technology for vehicle manufacturers, while the future of fuel cell technology is unknown. Nearly two thirds also said optimising existing internal combustion engines would offer the largest reduction in CO2 emissions over the next five years.
The trend is bucked again by Asia, where 33% of Chinese respondents and 46% of Japanese respondents said battery electric vehicles would be most popular in 2025, followed by fuel cell vehicles.
‘The industry faces a tough decision on whether to place more trust and resources in fuel-cell or battery vehicle concepts in the long-term, Meyer added. ‘Hybrids may be more popular in the interim than pure, battery-powered cars, but the hidden champion that could emerge will be fuel-cell vehicles.’