What a difference a year makes. Last year, the International Energy Agency annual report predicted there would be 125 million EVs on the road worldwide by 2030. Its new 2019 report is out and it has doubled that prediction to 250 million electric vehicles by 2030, assuming the 25 nations that are part of the Clean Energy Ministerial EV30@30 program honor their commitments.
If they do, that will mean 43 million new EVs are sold in 2030. If the more conservative “new policies” scenario prevails, 23 million EVs will be sold in 2030 and the total worldwide will reach 130 million.
The IEA says its report examines key areas of interest such as electric vehicle and charging infrastructure deployment, ownership cost, energy use, carbon dioxide emissions, and battery material demand.
Considering there were about 5 million electric cars on the road at the end of last year, this year’s prediction anticipates a dramatic increase in the number of EVs that will be sold worldwide over the next 10 years. The IEA report excludes sales of electrified two- and three-wheeled vehicles.
Policies & Frameworks
The IEA says favorable policies and regulatory frameworks are needed to spur EV growth, according to PV Magazine. The most important steps are establishing electric vehicle and charging standards and clear deployment targets. Standards for high power chargers up to 600 kW have been developed, adds the IEA and there is growing interest in 1 MW “mega-chargers,” especially for heavy duty trucks.
“Another useful policy measure is to provide economic incentives, particularly to bridge the cost gap between EVs and less expensive internal combustion engine vehicles as well as to spur the early deployment of charging infrastructure,” the report says.
Lower toll or parking fees, higher fuel economy standards, more zero-emission vehicle mandates, and dedicated procurement programs are other measures which could support EV adoption.
Lower Battery Costs
The current rate of cost reduction for battery storage systems is likely to continue over the next 10 years and will be strongly linked to the growth of electromobility. “It is expected that by 2025, batteries will increasingly use cathode chemistries that are less dependent on cobalt, such as NMC 811, NMC 622 or NMC 532 cathodes in the NMC family, or advanced NCA batteries,” the report adds.
The output from battery manufacturing plants will increase considerably from annual production of about 8 GWh today to an around 20 GWh in 2023, further driving down prices for EV batteries.
“Other technology developments are also expected to contribute to cost reductions,” the IEA claims. “These include the possibility to redesign vehicle manufacturing platforms using simpler and innovative design architecture that capitalize on the compact dimensions of electric motors ….. The use of big data to customize battery size to travel needs and avoid over sizing the batteries [will be] especially relevant for heavy duty vehicles.”
Well To Wheel
Lowering carbon emissions is, of course, what the EV revolution is all about. “On a well-to-wheel basis, greenhouse gas projected emissions from EVs will continue to be lower than for conventional internal combustion engine vehicles,” the 2019 IEA report says.
“In the New Policies Scenario, GHG emissions of the EV fleet reach almost 230 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2030, offsetting about 220 million tons of CO2 emissions. In the EV30@30 Scenario, the assumed trajectory for power grid decarbonization is consistent with the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario and further strengthens GHG emission reductions from EVs.”
In general, IEA predictions tend to be on the conservative side, so the size of the EV market in 2030 could be significantly larger than suggested by this year’s report. After all, the IEA’s own forecast doubled in just the past 12 months. Absent the US forcing the world to start driving coal burning vehicles, for EV advocates the future is bright indeed.