Sales of electric vehicles (EV) are to reach a total global stock of 323 million by 2040, new research has revealed.
Although the coronavirus pandemic is expected to delay EV sales by two years, the sales are expected to reach 45 million units per year by 2040, according to research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie.
Europe and China have responded to the pandemic by supporting a green recovery, which includes transport electrification, with commercial EV sales projected to top 5.5 million a year by 2040 and global stock forecast to hit 40 million by the same year.
Ram Chandrasekaran, Wood Mackenzie principal analyst, said: “Despite EV stock growing to 35 times its current size, the transport emissions curve will flatten and not fall. The global CO2 emissions contribution of transport will increase by 1.3 megatons between now and 2040.
“Major automakers have set their sights on being climate neutral by 2050 and view battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as the strongest lever to achieving that target.”
There are fewer barriers for commercial EV adoption compared to passenger EV adoption, with one of the major drivers of increasing passenger car EV adoption being the strict regulatory targets mandated worldwide.
Car manufacturers must produce more EVs that are favoured by existing mechanisms for measuring emissions, to help meet the targets, however, commercial vehicles have more lenient regulations.
Mr Chandrasekaran added: “Electric buses in China have represented the entirety of commercial EVs for the past few years. Buses will lead the electrification of the global commercial segment until 2026. Post-2026, light-duty trucks will take over the charge.
“Unlike retail customers, fleet owners are well versed in the capital and operational expenses of their vehicles. They also have well-defined operating routes, as well as overnight parking locations.
“Electrification of the US pick-up truck market is hotly contested with several new players including Rivian, Bollinger, Lordstown Motors and Nikola receiving significant funding and each having at least one product on sale in the next two years.”
One issue that challenges the widespread EV adoption is the lack of EV charging infrastructure and the fact electric cars are expensive.
However Mr Chandrasekaran believes progress is being made: “The projected price of battery packs keeps dropping. We expect the US$100/KWh threshold to be breached by 2024, one year earlier than our previous projections.
“Cumulative residential and public charging points are projected to grow to 32.5 million and 5.4 million outlets by 2030 and will have an investment value of US$2.7 billion and US$3.3 billion, respectively.”