Global electric vehicle outlook relatively positive


Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — April 24, 2013 – Electric vehicle market shares are still below 1% in most major markets, due in part to high upfront costs, real and perceived range limitations, and a lack of consumer education, but at the same time, there has been considerable progress in the global market, which suggests a relatively positive outlook, according to the first Global EV Outlook.

At the end of 2012 there were about 180,000 electric vehicles on the world’s roads, amounting to 0.02% of passenger vehicles, and a more than doubling in global sales since 2011. However, to meet the 2020 target of 5.9 million in annual sales and 20 million EVs on the roads, the 2011 EV market (approximately 45,000) would need to grow by 72% compounded each year – a target that will become more of a challenge to meet each year.

The Global EV Outlook from the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Electric Vehicles Initiative reviews the deployment efforts of EVs in the initiative’s 15 member countries (China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, U.K., U.S.). Together these countries accounted for more than 90% percent of global EV stock in 2012, with the top three countries being the U.S. with 38%, due to the predominance of the Chevrolet Volt, Japan with 24%, largely due to increasing sales of the Toyota plug-in Prius, and France with 11%.

These countries have made substantial and consequential research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) investments in vehicle electrification, with $8.7 billion in collective spending since 2008. However, further RD&D investments, as well as public-private collaboration and innovative policy and business solutions are required to address the significant technological, financial, market, and policy challenges that stand in the way of widespread adoption of EVs.

The report says that significant market penetration will likely unfold gradually over a number of years, thus requiring a healthy dose of patience for those anticipating a new era of clean transport. The challenges facing vehicle electrification are complex and will therefore necessitate a broad and coordinated effort among all relevant stakeholders to address them.

Moreover, the electrification of the passenger fleet should be considered within the context of increasing urbanization and population density. In order to avoid increased congestion and local air pollution, a broader mobility strategy is necessary. Improved and expanded public transit, enhanced pedestrian and bicycle access, and new “mobility services” should be components of such a strategy.