The year 2021 will kickstart a decade of growing electric vehicle (EV) adoption, which will see EV sales move from a rounding error of total new vehicle shipments to over a quarter of new vehicles shipping in 2030, according to analyst firm ABI Research.
“This transition from niche to mainstream will be built on the introduction of low-cost EV models that satisfy the typical mileage requirements at an acceptable price point,” explained James Hodgson, smart mobility and automotive principal analyst at ABI Research.
As EV owners shift from the legacy of environmentally conscious, enthusiastic technology first adopters to more typical automotive consumers, OEMs will need to develop more innovative approaches to the life cycle management of EVs, said ABI.
“Smart charging technologies, support for occasional Direct Current (DC) fast charging, and battery management will be critical in supporting mainstream consumers in their transition from ICEs to EV ownership,” Hodgson pointed out.
“The first half of 2020 saw the market for new vehicles implode, contracting by around 70%. Covid-19 and the measures taken to contain the spread of the virus dealt a double blow to the already faltering automotive market, disrupting supply chains and depriving the industry of the bricks-and-mortar retail environment on which it heavily relies,” said Hodgson.
Many OEMs reported a return to growth in 3Q 2020 as offset demand from 1H 2020, manifested in a summer period that saw many governments lift restrictions and allow auto dealerships to reopen.
According to Hodgson, “Moving into 2021, however, the automotive industry should not expect a return to the new vehicle sales volumes of recent years. The market size is expected to remain subdued until 2024 given the prospect of repeated lockdowns, long-term remote working, and a bleak macroeconomic outlook.”