Auto Analyst: EVs Are a “Market That Will Slowly Increase”

JAN 3 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 10

EV Sales 2013

EV Sales 2013

Every so often, the mainstream media presents an EV topic in a negative light.

Slowly But Surely On The Rise

Slowly But Surely On The Rise

We take joy in transforming what the mainstream media sees as negative info what it truly is.

Take, for example, a recent quote that we found in a San Jose Mercury News article titled “Electric Car Sales Have Banner Year, But Overall Volumes Remain Low.”

The article’s focus is on sales of plug-in rising in 2013, but then it turns to explaining that plug-in sales will amount to only a fraction of total automotive sales for a long time.  Auto industry analyst Alan Baum is quoted in the article as saying:

“There was an expectation that electric vehicles would take off very quickly, but this is a process.  It’s a process for consumers and it’s a process for the automakers. You can’t turn this market on with a switch. It’s a market that will slowly increase.”

But we’ll take that slow increase.

Any new technology is almost always going to be slow to catch on, but the rising sales in 2013 basically prove that plug-in are already catching on.  Slowly, sales will continue to rise.  As long as they do rise, that’s fine by us.

Source: San Jose Mercury News

Categories: General, Sales

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10 Comments on "Auto Analyst: EVs Are a “Market That Will Slowly Increase”"

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So what does the line look like for plug-in cars?

kdawg, that is one COOL graph!

Yeah, I like those graphs too. There’s a bunch more out there if you do some Googling.

Doing some quick math, we are in approximately year 4 of plug-ins and they have sold ~156,000 in the US. There are 132 million households in the US. Assuming the plug-ins are evenly distributed, then they have only reached 0.12% of the population. Yeah.. it’s a slow growth.

Since the electric car graph would technically start way back in like 1908 or something, it wouldn’t look very good on that graph. It seems like you have to go to some cold northern European nations to see plugin car sales anything like any of those lines.

Interesting… radio, color TV, and the internet all seem to have been adopted at about the same rate.

The growth of EV adoption seems slow only because the segment is in the first few years of doubling. Like bacteria in a Petri dish, it seems like not much is happening at first.

Unlike other products, very little demand creation has been created for EVs by manufacturers. The demand creation has been by clean air regulatory bodies and consumer activists.

Now that BMW has an entry, things will heat up a bit. They won’t be afraid to tell people their EV exists.

I think the cinder block tied around the EV’s and plug ins right now is the car makers themselves expect for Tesla and Nissan. The main thing is that a lot of the car markers seem to be fighting the idea of building EV’s at every turn such as with Honda and GM along with a few other clowns. Those car companies keep only making the bare minimum in terms of plug in cars while at the same time they have in a lot of cases cars that are better then say the Nissan leaf. They also advertise like crazy for their gas cars but most of the time unless you tell someone they don’t know about EV’s. They even in a lot of cases even have a waiting list like the EV 1 but still don’t want to raise production or even want to meet the rising demand for EV’s. As for the the car makers that do care the biggest thing slowing them down is battery production like with Nissan and Mitsubishi and Tesla. As for the car makers that I feel are not for or angst them on the EV is Ford. This year I was starting… Read more »

Cool graph. Most comparable to automobiles, notice how automobile ownership went down during the depression. One thing to consider is that all of these inventions had little or no competition. You could say he horse or the bicycle/trolley was some for cars. You did not absolutely have to have a car, but the alternatives are not so attractive.
So the gist of what I am getting at is that there are still good alternatives to plugins, so adoption will be slower than say after mass production of the automobile taking 1915-1930 for instance when automobiles went from 10% to 60%. We won’t see that with ev’s maybe 1/3 of that rate of adoption. The curves for things people feel that absolutely must have or the alternative is rather poor have much steeper adoption curves.
Also expensive things get adopted more slowly.

Another reason that they’ll be slower, compared to the adoption rate of ICE cars, is that much of the post-WW1 increase in car-owning households was due to the large-scale availability of affordable used cars. Given the huge fall-off in utility of a used short-range BEV with a degraded battery (compared to a used ICEV), I don’t see anywhere near that level of pass-through occurring, although PHEVs may do okay. I expect we won’t see significant used BEV purchases until something like the Tesla Model E starts getting re-sold, as it will still have considerable utility even with a fairly degraded battery.

All of these are new not replacement technologies. Most people already have a car. What is the compelling reason to go electric drive?

We need something like CRT to flat screen replacement rates. The new technology needs to be cost competitive to get to the inflection point. Right now, we are in the early-adopter phase.