When will sales of electric cars (EVs) reach mass adoption?
Creating forecasts of when mass adoption will occur is a fun exercise, but no one can say with any real confidence that their prediction is likely to be spot on. There are a couple of dozen variables (gas and battery prices, regulations, battery range, charger speed and availability, supply of new EV models, etc.) that can either speed up or slow down EV adoption.
The second problem with all of these forecasts is that “mass adoption” or similar terms are not always defined or the same:
- Tony Seba: “by 2025 all new vehicles will be electric …”
- Elon Musk: “… in 10 years more than half of new vehicle production is electric in the United States.”
- Bloomberg NEV: “EVs are on track to accelerate to 54% of new car sales by 2040.”
- Joel Couse, Total Chief Energy Economist: “EVs will make up 15 to 30 percent of new vehicles by 2030 …” (Total is a French oil company)
EVAdoption has joined the fray of forecasting future electric vehicle sales, but with specific scope and definitions:
- We are defining mass adoption as EVs comprising 16% of new auto sales within a specific geographic market.
- At least for the near term, we are focusing only on two markets: The US and California.
Below is our forecast for these two markets as of January 2018:
- US auto sales: Auto analysts and economists do not agree on future US auto sales, but for our forecast, we are assuming that auto sales will see a modest decline over the next several years do to a slowing economy, changing purchase behavior including consumers holding onto cars longer and forgoing second and third cars by sharing and use of ride-sharing services.
- California auto sales: We are assuming that unlike the US overall, auto sales in California will remain relatively flat over the next several years. This is based on California’s continued strong economy and high-tech employment and Californian’s love of driving nice cars.
- New EV model introductions: We expect the introduction of a significant number of “affordable” EVs in the 2020-2022 time frame.
- Average battery range: Luxury car battery range will easily average 250-300 miles by 2020, the key will be availability of affordable SUVs and crossovers with 250 miles of range.
- Charging speed: DC fast charging time to 80% battery level is reduced to about 15-20 minutes by around 2022.