Commercial vehicle sales will be well and truly dominated by electric cars and buses by 2040, a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has predicted.
The Electric Vehicle Outlook 2019 published by BNEF predicts electric vehicles will make up more than 80 per cent of sales for new buses by that date, and just under 60 per cent for light commercial vehicles.
The projections follow the recent Australian focused analysis that found with the right policies, the share of new passenger car sales could reach 50 per cent by 2030 as targeted by Labor.
As you can see in the chart below, BNEF sees electric vehicles making up 57 per cent of all new passenger vehicle sales, globally, just 10 years after that in 2040.
“Our conclusions are stark for fossil fuel use in road transport, said BNEF’s head of advanced transport Colin McKerracher.
“Electrification will still take time because the global fleet changes over slowly but, once it gets rolling in the 2020s, it starts to spread to many other areas of road transport. We see a real possibility that global sales of conventional passenger cars have already passed their peak.”
BNEF also predicts that ride sharing services like UBER will continue to grow, with one-in-five passenger trips to be completed through a ride sharing service.
BNEF predicts that ride sharing services will boost the uptake of electric vehicle, with drivers shifting to electric vehicles at a faster rate than the rest of the vehicle market.
“Providers of shared mobility services will choose to go electric faster than private individuals. There are now over a billion users of shared mobility services such as ride-hailing globally. These services will continue to grow and gradually reduce demand for private vehicle ownership.” BNEF analyst Ali Izadi-Najafabadi said.
Within the next 10 years, electric vehicles are expected to out complete traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, both in terms of lifetime cost and upfront costs.
Dramatic falls battery costs will continue to drive down the cost of electric vehicles. According to BNEF, prices for lithium-ion batteries have fallen by 85 per cent since 2010. Demand for lithium-ion batteries is expected to grow by more than ten-fold over the next 10-years.
Electric buses also already have a significant share of the market, with this share expected to grow to 81 per cent by 2040, according to the BNEF forecast.
Heavy trucks will prove the hardest segment to crack, the report says, with electric sales limited to 19 per cent in 2040.
China will lead the transition to electric vehicles, predicted to account for 48% of new electric vehicles in 2025. As electric vehicles become prominent in other global market, China’s electric vehicle market share is expected to fall, but will still account for one-in-four electric vehicles by 2040.
The growth of electric vehicles will have significant flow on effects for other energy markets. Shifting transport from fuels to electric technologies will result in a predicted increase in global electric consumption by 6.8% by 2040.
Ahead of the 2019 Election, the Labor Party has committed to a target of half of all new passenger vehicle sales being electric vehicles by 2030.
Labor’s target triggered a scare campaign from the current energy minister Angus Taylor, who has claimed that Labor’s ambitions on electric vehicles will see a possible Shorten government ‘coming after your utes’.
This received a shift rebuke from the head of the Electric Vehicle Council, Behyad Jafari.
“Taylor has cooked up with some truly ridiculous and dishonest scare tactics during the course of this campaign. They are tactics that should, frankly, be beneath the Energy Minister of Australia,” Jafari said.
For what it’s worth, one head of a major Australian energy agency thinks the rapid emerge of electric vehicles in Australia is a reasonably safe bet, in line with the BNEF projections.
CEO of ARENA, Darren Miller, has made a more ambitious prediction than Labor’s target, making a bet with a friend that Labor’s target will be met five years earlier.
I also bet him that 50% of new passenger car sales in 2025 would be EVs. Feeling less confident about that one.
— Darren Miller (@darrenhmiller) April 7, 2019
Michael Mazengarb is a journalist with RenewEconomy, based in Sydney. Before joining RenewEconomy, Michael worked in the renewable energy sector for more than a decade.