In just two years’ time, there will be more than 500 different electric vehicle (EV) models available globally, giving consumers a veritable, unprecedented choice. What’s more, the electric share of vehicle sales is rising fast, especially in Europe. By 2040, experts predict they’ll account for a staggering 58% of the market. But perhaps the most exciting game changers regarding the accessibility of EVs are the falling price of batteries and more diverse charging capabilities.
A meteoric pace of change has been afoot; of that there’s little doubt. But what does it all mean for everyday car buyers? Is it time to ditch diesel and petrol for good? What charging support do you need to make it work? Are EVs and EV chargers worth investing in?
Leading the charge
In fact, the unsung heroes of the EV revolution will increasingly be the chargers themselves. Without the ability to have innovative, ubiquitous charging stations supported by progressive infrastructure, the transition to electric will be inefficient and clunky. The charger you invest in for your own car can be as big a purchasing decision as buying the EV itself.
“We think there is going to be a different speed of adoption for people who have easy access to home charging options than those that don’t,” says Colin McKerracher, Head of Advanced Transport for research organisation, Bloomberg NEF. “A two-car family with a garage or off-street parking can probably go electric much easier than a family with one car living in a high density, high rise apartment.”
The key to buying chargers – whether for at home or a workplace – is investing in ones that are futureproofed, including intelligent features, such as connectivity to your phone. By communicating between your car and a charger via an app, you can power your EV quickly, at maximum capacity – even off-peak, saving on hefty electricity bills. What’s more, the chargers of the future (yet available to buy now), can be as slick in design as your smart phone or watch.
What about the cars of the future? Without the Covid-19 pandemic, EVs were heading for a record year of sales. Then petrol prices fell to their lowest level in more than a decade, ostensibly dealing a blow to the EV revolution. However, their proven power to slow the ravaging effects of climate change remains unchanged. Passenger cars are major polluters, accounting for more than 60% of total C02 emissions from road transport in Europe.
“EV sales in 2020 will likely be flat from 2019, or down slightly,” says Colin McKerracher. He adds: “While that may seem like a negative headline, they’re actually holding up much better than traditional internal combustion vehicles in many markets.”
As well as more interest and investment from companies, there are other forces at play that will bring EVs closer to the masses. Lithium-ion battery pack prices fell by a hefty 87% from 2010 to 2019, thanks to new chemistries, innovative manufacturing techniques and simplified pack designs. Prices are likely to keep going down, and with them, the cost of buying an electric vehicle – as the battery is the most expensive part of an electric car.
“While the uncertainly from the pandemic makes all predictions difficult, none of the fundamental drivers pushing the EV market forward have gone away: batteries continue to get better and cheaper, governments are pushing for more decarbonisation efforts, and urban air quality is a growing concern around the world,” states Colin McKerracher.
These governmental policies are helping drive forward the pace of EV adoption. It’s estimated that China and Europe combined will represent nearly three quarters of all EV passenger sales in just ten years’ time.
“China is pushing much more investment in charging infrastructure as part of its stimulus efforts and recently extended it’s ‘New Energy Vehicle’ credit system targets out to 2023. The U.S. is falling behind on EV adoption, but there are still some bright spots and a lot could change depending on what happens with the election in November. By 2040, EVs should be around 50% of the fleet in China and parts of Europe, but will still be far behind that in markets like India and other parts of the world.”
To EV, or not to EV?
It’s clear, then, the environment seems ripe for Chinese and European car consumers looking to invest in an EV – while the rest of the world plays catch up. “For some, now is definitely the right time,” admits transport insight expert, Colin McKerracher. “There are generous incentives still available today and the number and quality of EV models keeps going up. Direct purchase incentives get expensive for governments beyond the first 4-5% of buyers, so they won’t last forever… Having said that, battery performance is going to keep improving, and automakers are still in the early stages of ramping up their EV offerings.”
As more models flood the market, battery prices continue to fall and chargers become more efficient and exciting than ever before, now could be a savvy moment to invest in an EV. And with experts predicting that 2021 may be another record year for electric vehicle sales, despite this year’s unforeseen hurdles, eco-conscious consumers won’t want to get left behind.
For more information about EV chargers for businesses and individuals, speak to our team of experts