Electric Car Revolution said to begin in 2022

BMW i, News | February 28th, 2016 by 7
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2020 used to be the scheduled year for when we’d all be driving electric cars and automakers would have an average mpg of a million …

2020 used to be the scheduled year for when we’d all be driving electric cars and automakers would have an average mpg of a million across their lineup. It’s been 2020 for some time now, but like any plan with overly ambitious, though very good, intentions, the deadline has been pushed back. The deadline is now 2022, which is only two years back so it’s not a big deal. But according to experts, 2022 is the year when electric cars will cost as much to make and buy as internal combustion engine cars, thus starting an EV Revolution.

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At the moment, the biggest problem with electric cars is that they’re just too expensive. However, according to New Energy Finance, a Bloomberg research firm, that problem will be gone by 2022. According to the report, by 2022 “the unsubsidized total cost of ownership of BEVs [battery electric vehicles] will fall below that of an internal combustion engine vehicle.” The report then continues to say that by 2041, 25 percent of the global market share will be electric vehicles. This is quite the ambitious prediction, considering that the current global market share of electric vehicles is 1 percent.

However, according to Bloomberg, “We project that the cost of manufacturing electric vehicles will fall dramatically, and faster than most people realize,”. Apparently, much of this has to do with the battery pack, which can currently cost up to one third of the total cost of the vehicle. However, the cost of batteries has been decreasing as of late, with the costs of batteries dropping from $1,000 per kWh to $350 per kWh from 2010 to 2015, that’s a drop of 65 percent. This trend of price cutting should continue as production technology and battery chemistry improve. The target by 2022 is $200 per kWh. GM currently claims that it only costs $145 per kWh for its Chevy Bolt batteries, but that hasn’t been confirmed as of yet.

Although, despite any progress made in battery technology and cost of EVs, the projection of 2022 is based on the assumption that an extensive and easy-to-use charging infrastructure will be in place by then. If you were to ask many experts within the automotive industry, they’d say that the lack of charging infrastructure is the bigger problem for EVs, not the cost. This is because it doesn’t matter how cheap EVs become if customers don’t have anywhere to charge their car, aside from their own garage. Charging networks need to be developed much further if we expect to reach a 25 percent EV market share by 2040.

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According to Tony Posawatz, who worked on the Chevy Volt and for Fisker Automotive and is now an industry consultant, if a charging infrastructure can improve that 2022 is “certainly within the realm of possibility,”. Posawatz claims that the sort of charging infrastructure required can take a very long time to develop. He points out that it took 50 years for most American households to get electricity, so it’s possible but “it’s a long haul.”

So for this Electric Car Revolution to occur in 2022, quite a lot must happen. EV costs must come down dramatically, government incentives need to stay and a charging infrastructure needs to grow significantly. If all of this can happen, then 2022 can be the year of our next automotive revolution.

[Source: Wired]

7 responses to “Electric Car Revolution said to begin in 2022”

  1. Bob_Wallace says:

    Navigant Research reported that Tesla was paying Panasonic $180/kWh in October 2014. With the opening of the Gigafactory the price is expected to drop 30%, to about $130/kWh. GM’s $145/kWh price is regarded as accurate.

    Add about 30% of the cell price ($130 and $145) to get the battery pack price. The prices on the bottom of the graph below are battery pack price.

    Over 50% of US drivers now have a place to plug in where they park. Utility companies are starting to fund tens of thousands of new charging outlets in workplace and apartment parking lots.

    EVs will not have to reach purchase price parity in order to take larger market shares away from ICEVs. Many buyers will realize that savings from not having to buy fuel will offset a somewhat larger purchase price.

    Do not underestimate the desire of millions to do something to help with the climate change problem. If people see a 3 to 6 year break even ownership price the ability to leave the oil industry behind will likely be a large motivator. And don’t overlook the desire of many to move on to the “latest thing”.

    By 2017 buyers should be able to purchase 200 mile range EVs for about the average price of a new US car ($34k). Tesla already has a rapid charging system in place which allows people to drive about anywhere in the country. (GM is going to have to come up with a solution.)

    I suspect that by 2020 EVs will already have ‘taken off’.

    • Bob_Wallace says:

      “According to the report, by 2022 “the unsubsidized total cost of ownership of BEVs [battery electric vehicles] will fall below that of an internal combustion engine vehicle.” The report then continues to say that by 2041, 25 percent of the global market share will be electric vehicles. ”

      I assume you mean 25% of all vehicles, globally, will be EVs by 2041. Sales (market share) should hit 25% not long after purchase price equity is reached. The limiter will likely be the speed at which other car manufacturers can bring acceptable EVs out for sale.

      It seems to me that organizations that make these predictions are overlooking the non-economic factors which could drive the transition to EVs much more rapidly.

      Right now China is creating huge incentives for driving EVs because they need to reduce urban air pollution. Paris and London are taking steps to limit pollution from automobiles. As EVs become affordable look for municipalities (and heavily polluted areas like California’s Central Valley) to incentivize EVs.

      Also look for most countries to encourage the use of EVs as they work to bring down their CO2 emission levels.

      And, as I mentioned in my previous comment, we should expect individuals to move to EVs in order to do their part toward limiting climate change. As EVs reach purchase price parity someone buying a new car can both do something to help out and at the same time save themselves some money.

      New technologies, generally, start slowly but then accelerate until they approach market saturation.

      • Objective says:

        This article is just a lot of hot air. Electric cars, as built today, are a bad idea all around. Good electric surface transportation is in the works though, it just isn’t well known yet.

        • Bob_Wallace says:

          If there’s a better method for personal transportation than EVs, that’s great.

          However, most of us who follow clean energy/transportation have often encountered claims like yours about ideas that just die away because they don’t work.

          I’ll wait for actual proof if you don’t mind.

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