California on track to meet zero emission vehicle target, report


According to Beacon Economics, the adoption of zero emission vehicles is dramatically growing and on track to meet or exceed a 1.5 million ZEV target set by governor Jerry Brown in California by 2025.

Ricky Perry, added: “2017 marked a turning point for electric vehicles. Battery costs fell, ranges grew, new models hit the showrooms, and nations including China, France and the U.K. announced plans to phase out gas-powered cars.

“The growth we’re seeing red to in California’s zero emission vehicles market shows that the state is standing alongside leading countries in the transition to a cleaner transportation future.”

Improvements in zero emission vehicles technologies and decreases in charging time over time will enable increases in adoption of ZEVs.

Sales increased by 29.1% between 2016 and 2017 to bring California’s zero emission vehicles market to 4.5% compared to 3.6% in 2016. In October 2017, California sold 37,483 vehicles.

However, Beacon Economics says the slow pace in developing EV charging infrastructure will restrain the state from achieving a new goal of 5 million zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 200.

[quote] Noel, founder of think tank Next 10, commissioner of the report, said: “Going from 1.5 million ZEVs in 2025 to 5 million in 2030 is a big jump, but we’re seeing rapid growth in the ZEVs market.

“Barriers such as inadequate infrastructure could slow progress, but our report shows that by 2040, ZEVs could be as ubiquitous as smartphones are today.”

When the state government introduced its ZEV goal in 2012, California needed to average 35.5% annual growth from 2013 to 2025 to meet the target.

With a 53% increase in growth from 2013-2017, the annual growth rate required to meet the ZEV goal from 2017 on has decreased to 20% annually.

Adam Fowler, economist at Beacon Economics, commented: “Often with advanced technology, adoption hits a tipping point and then you see exponential growth – an s-curve – rather than incremental, linear rates of adoption. Zero-emission vehicles are following this pattern.”

“Add to that the advent of autonomous vehicles and new business models such as ride hailing and car sharing, and we could be on the brink of major disruption in the transportation sector.”

California has 16,549 EV charging outlets, the most in the US by far, however, not adequate to meet charging demands for Californians. That works out to only 0.05 public charging outlets per Californian ZEV. Beacon Economics says California will need 125,000 to 220,000 charging ports by 2020.

Beacon Economics also found that:

  • In 2017, global passenger electric vehicle sales reached about 1 million, up from half a million in 2015.
  • California 2017 ZEV sales increased 29.1% over 2016, while US 2017 ZEV sales grew by 28.8% over 2016.
  • ZEV market share in California was 4.5% in 2017, up from 3.6 % in 2016. This compares to 2017 ZEV market share of 1.1% in the U.S. and 1.8% in China.
  • China leads the world in ZEV sales. Sales of EVs increased 70% from 2015 to 2016 with cumulative EV sales reaching 650,000, overtaking the U.S. in cumulative sales for the first time.
  • China’s intention to achieve 20% ZEV penetration by 2025 means it will add 7 million vehicles a year.
  • An analysis of 17 popular 2017 models found ZEVs can already be price competitive now, without government incentives.
  • The most expensive component of a ZEV is the battery. From 2010 through 2016, average battery cost per kilowatt-hour has dropped 74%, from over $1,000 to $273/Kwh while energy density has improved 5% per year. Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates battery cost will decline by almost 10% until 2025, when ZEVs will reach price parity with ICE vehicles.
  • Battery range has been increasing annually. In 2017, Tesla Model S had the farthest EPA-rated range for an all-electric vehicle, at 315 miles.
  • 150 different plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles are available worldwide, with that number set to rise to over 240 by 2021.
  • China leads with over 75 EV models. It introduced 25 new models in 2016 and saw sales jump 70%.
  • In the top California cities for EV penetration, auto dealers offer 25 to 30 different models.
  • From 2011 to 2016, the number of stations for charging electric vehicles increased by 1,138% in the U.S. In 2016 there was one charging plug for about every 6 electric cars.
  • Grid overload is another concern. The California Public Utilities Commission is studying it. SoCal Edison and the Los Angeles Air Force Base are conducting a pilot programme that allows electric vehicles to act as batteries and send power back to the grid.


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