The EV momentum that’s set to explode
Electric vehicles (EVs) are soon to become the norm for anyone who drives a car, travels by bus, or relies on taxis to get from A to B.
And while the full transition from petrol to electric is forecast to take several decades, the number of electric vehicles on our roads is set to climb dramatically over the coming years.
According to recent International Energy Agency projections, we can expect to see 130 million EVs around the world by 2030, up from just 3.1 million in 2017.
EVs to surpass petrol vehicles by 2040
In its 2018 Future Energy Scenarios report, National Grid predicts that up to 11 million of these will be in the UK, rising to as many as 26 million EVs on British roads by 2040. (For context, as of December 2018, there were just over 38 million licensed vehicles in the UK.)
By 2040, according to report on eMobility published in April by Accenture, EVs will surpass petrol vehicles.
But despite these predictions, 39% of existing conventional car owners currently believe they will never buy an EV.
In a survey conducted by Accenture to accompany its eMobility report, barriers cited include range, charging availability, time to charge and cost.
However, solutions to these issues are already emerging.
For example, the price of EV batteries – a key factor in overall EV cost – has already dropped by more than 80% over the past eight years. Some EVs have almost reached price parity with comparable petrol vehicles.
Consumers are also more likely to look at overall value when buying an EV, with two-thirds of would-be EV owners saying that “saving money over the longer term” is a key incentive for purchasing.
Cost parity by 40k miles
Once purchased, an EV has far lower running costs.
For example, an electric Renault Zoe costs around 2.6p per mile to run, compared to 9.4p per mile for a petrol Renault Clio.
Even compared to diesel cars, research conducted by Accenture suggests that you reach parity for overall costs (purchase price + running costs) by the time you’ve driven around 40k miles.
Retailers leading EV charging drive
When it comes to charging, Tesco has just announced the UK’s biggest investment in charging infrastructure, with 2400 EV charging bays being installed across 600 stores over the next three years.
It’s likely other retailers will follow, with EV charging facilities being compared to wifi as service consumers will start to expect as standard.
Choice of EVs is also rapidly expanding, with around 50 different models now available throughout Europe. By 2025, it’s estimated there will be more than 400 models available globally.
Unsurprisingly, the impact on the electricity consumption of all this growth in EVs will be profound.
Increased demand for global power
The International Energy Agency estimates that the share of global power demand for EVs is forecast to jump from just 0.3% in 2017 to 6.3% by 2030.
But despite this growth, National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios report believes that through the use of smart charging and vehicle-to-grid technologies, the increase in UK peak electricity demand could be as little as 8GW by 2040.
Large consumers – as well as EVs themselves – are likely to become part of the solution, providing flexibility around energy use and storage.