EVs to become more economical than gasoline or diesel cars in 2020s, finds report
That’s the finding of new research by Bloomberg New Energy Finance that says EVs will make up 35% of global new car sales by 2040.
The study forecasts that sales of electric vehicles will hit 41 million by 2040 – almost 90 times the equivalent figure for 2015, when EV sales are estimated to have been 462,000, some 60% up on 2014.
Colin McKerracher, lead advanced transportation analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said: “At the core of this forecast is the work we have done on EV battery prices. Lithium-ion battery costs have already dropped by 65% since 2010, reaching $350 per kWh last year. We expect EV battery costs to be well below $120 per kWh by 2030, and to fall further after that as new chemistries come in.”
This projected change between now and 2040 will have implications beyond the car market. The research estimates that the growth of EVs will mean they represent a quarter of the cars on the road by that date, displacing 13 million barrels per day of crude oil but using 1,900TWh of electricity. This would be equivalent to nearly 8% of global electricity demand in 2015.
The study’s calculations on total cost of ownership show BEVs becoming cheaper on an unsubsidised basis than internal combustion engine cars by the mid-2020s, even if the latter continue to improve their average mileage per gallon by 3.5% per year. It assumes that a BEV with a 60kWh battery will travel 200 miles between charges. The first generation of these long-range, mid-priced BEVs is set to hit the market in the next 18 months with the launch of the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3.
Salim Morsy, senior analyst and author of the study, said: “In the next few years, the total-cost-of-ownership advantage will continue to lie with conventional cars, and we therefore do not expect EVs to exceed 5% of light duty vehicle sales in most markets – except where subsidies make up the difference. However, that cost comparison is set to change radically in the 2020s.”