- Electric car slaes will equal those of combustion cars in the US in 2036, says a Bloomberg report.
- Millennials and government incentives will be key to the growth of non-polluting mobility.
- Germany is leading the way in Europe, having sold 398,000 electric cars in 2020.
Of the 78 million vehicles sold worldwide in 2020, 3.2 million were electric, according to the manufacturers’ organization OICA — and this growth looks like it will continue to accelerate over the next decade.
A study by consultancy Ernst & Young (EY) claims that in just eight years, by 2028, more zero emission vehicles will be sold in Europe than combustion vehicles.
This threshold will be reached in 2033 in China and in 2036 in the United States.
Europe became the world’s leading electric car market in 2020 after tripling the 2019 figures in the pandemic year from 589,000 units to almost 1.4 million vehicles — Germany was in the lead, having sold 398,000 units, according to MG News.
European countries combined even went as far as to surpass China, which had been the main market for electric vehicles — in 2020, 1.34 million electric cars were sold in China, according to S&P Global.
According to the potential scenario outlined by EY, which was predicted using an artificial intelligence tool, in just a decade electric vehicles will overtake combustion vehicles in the main global markets.
In 25 years, by 2045, sales of non-electric cars will barely account for 1% of the global market.
The keys to this progress include brands’ aggressive policies for the electrification of their fleets — General Motors has already announced that from 2035 it will only sell electric cars, and the Swedish company Volvo, owned by Geely in China, will stop producing combustion vehicles by 2030 and will only sell online.
Government incentives towards purchasing electric vehicles, especially in Europe and the United States, also play a key role in this acceleration.
EY also identified a major push from the millennial generation, with 30% of those surveyed willing to buy an electric car, after the blow that the pandemic has dealt to public transport and even shared mobility services.
“The view from the millennials that we’re seeing is clearly more inclination to want to buy EVs,” said Randy Miller, EY’s global head of advanced manufacturing and mobility, according to Bloomberg.
In the United States, the situation has changed with the arrival of the Biden administration.
“The Biden administration’s regulatory environment will be a big contribution because it has ambitious goals,” added Miller.
A study by the consultancy BlastPoint published at the beginning of the year already anticipated a 71% increase in sales of electric vehicles in the United States, due to the impact of Biden’s arrival and his commitment to environmental concerns.
In Europe, it is precisely this dependence on subsidies that has caused some skepticism from analysts, as they consider the electric vehicle market to be “extremely sensitive to government and corporate discounts,” said Arndt Allinghorst, an analyst at Bernstein Research, according to Market Screener.
Even CEOs at some manufacturers like Hakan Samuelsson of Volvo, who spoke with the Wall Street Journal in February 2021, admit these subsidies are “an incentive” that makes electrics “very attractive to consumers.”
“In the long term those incentives and tax benefits are not sustainable,” he added.