Bloomberg Increases Its Plug-Ins Global Share Forecast To 54% By 2040

JUL 25 2017 BY MARK KANE 37

Bloomberg New Energy Finance has updated its global plug-in electric car sales forecast, from a previous level of 35% by 2040 to 54% by 2040.

Given the fact they needed to make an adjustment of ~50% after just a year, we aren’t sure how much stock one can put into a long term report (despite the mildly amusing disclaimer of “detailed analysis” – see below) with that much short term margin of error, but….moving on.

The reason for the huge increase in plug-in adoption is the “resent, remarkable cost decline”, that will lead customers to realize plug-ins are equal to, or cheaper, than comparable petrol cars by 2029.

By 2040, BNEF also expects 33% of worldwide car fleet to be plug-in electric.

Other findings are:

  • plug-in car sales to grow from the record 700,000 seen in 2016 to 3 million by 2021
  • 80% of all autonomous vehicles in shared applications being electric by 2040 due to lower operating costs

Global light-duty vehicle fleet (source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

More about the report:

“The forecast, put together by the advanced transport team at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, draws on detailed analysis of likely future reductions in price for lithium-ion batteries and of prospects for the other cost components in EVs and internal combustion engine, or ICE, vehicles. It also factors in the rising EV commitments from automakers and the number of new EV models they plan to launch.

The central finding of the research is that the EV revolution is going to hit the car market even harder and faster than BNEF predicted a year ago. The team now estimates that EVs will account for 54% of all new light-duty vehicle sales globally by 2040, not the 35% share it forecast previously. By 2040, EVs will be displacing 8 million barrels of transport fuel per day and adding 5% to global electricity consumption.”

“The forecast shows EV sales worldwide growing steadily in the next few years, from the record 700,000 seen in 2016 to 3 million by 2021. At that point, they will account for nearly 5% of light-duty vehicle sales in Europe, up from a little over 1% now, and for around 4% in both the U.S. and China.

However, the real take-off for EVs will happen from the second half of the 2020s when, first, electric cars become cheaper to own on a lifetime-cost basis than ICE models; and, second – arguably an even more important moment psychologically for buyers – when their upfront costs fall below those of conventional vehicles.

The key component of an EV – the battery – is set to plunge in price, building on recent, remarkable cost declines. Since 2010, lithium-ion battery prices have fallen 73% per kWh. Manufacturing improvements and more than a doubling in battery energy density are set to cause a further fall of more than 70% by 2030.

The result will be rapidly rising market shares for electric vehicles in the biggest markets, even with oil prices staying low. BNEF sees them accounting for nearly 67% of new car sales in Europe by 2040, and for 58% in of sales in the U.S. and 51% in China by the same date. Countries that have made early progress in EV uptake are expected to be among the leaders in 2040, including Norway, France, and the U.K. Emerging economies such as India are forecast not to see significant EV sales until the late 2020s.”

“BNEF’s forecast is based squarely on the relative economics of EVs and ICE cars. It assumes that current policies to encourage EV take-up continue until their scheduled expiry, but does not assume the introduction of any fresh measures. BNEF analyzed the auto market not just by country but also by segment, encompassing everything from small run-arounds to SUVs and large family cars.”

“The team incorporated work into their EV forecast work on two other hot topics in the transport revolution – autonomous vehicles, and ride sharing. It concluded that the impact of autonomous driving will be limited in the next 10 years but will play an increasing role in the market after 2030, with 80% of all autonomous vehicles in shared applications being electric by 2040 due to lower operating costs.”

Colin McKerracher, lead advanced transport analyst at BNEF, said:

“We see a momentous inflection point for the global auto industry in the second half of the 2020s. Consumers will find that upfront selling prices for EVs are comparable or lower than those for average ICE vehicles in almost all big markets by 2029.”

Jon Moore, chief executive of BNEF, said that that growth in EV market share:

“will come about during a time when the power system is also undergoing a revolution, towards cleaner, more distributed generation. This means that not only do EVs surge, but their emissions profile improves over time.”

Salim Morsy, senior analyst on BNEF’s advanced transport team and lead author of the report, commented:

“There is a credible path forward for strong EV growth, but much more investment in charging infrastructure is needed globally. The inability to charge at home in many local and regional markets is part of the reason why we forecast EVs making up just over a third of the global car fleet in 2040, and not a much higher figure.”

More in the report Electric Vehicle Outlook 2017.

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37 Comments on "Bloomberg Increases Its Plug-Ins Global Share Forecast To 54% By 2040"

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Someone out there

If EVs are up front price competitive to ICE vehicles in 2029 (which is pessimistic IMO) then why would there still be a market for ICE vehicles in 2040? EVs are also less expensive to drive, more comfortable to drive, requires less service and is generally more convenient when it comes to charging compared to ICE vehicles. Who would want the old technology when the new one is so much better?
I see it like the flat screen TV “revolution”, once the new product reaches a threshold price point the old product is dead almost overnight.


Agreed. Someone at Bloomberg must have ridden in a Tesla.
But, they can’t “predict” the catastrophic decline in ICE vehicles, or there’d either be a market crash, or they wouldn’t be believed.

But, yes, once you’ve driven an EV, you’re shocked to realize just how primitive ICE vehicles are.


Hybrids took more than 15 years to get to 3%. But in 23 years EVs will get to 54%? I see no evidence to support that projection.


I read somewhere that the legacy 2G, non-smart phones take more than 50% of the total world-wide sales in 2016 or 2015. Even in the US, it still takes a significant portion of the total sales. I am sure ICEs won’t just disappear from all over the world even when you don’t see any of them around.

Taylor S Marks

Many of the old cellular networks in the US have been shut down. I had to help my Mother In Law get an iPhone last year because AT&T told her that she’d no longer be able to connect using her ~10 year old Nokia.


How will EV be “upfront price competitive” in 10-12 years? The manufacturing cost of the Bolt’s “fuel tank” is $10k+. That’s more than the manufacturing cost of the entire Chevy Sonic. Even if you cut battery costs 75% you’re still at a disadvantage in the low-mid range.

EVs can compete at the high end because drive train savings offset much of the battery cost. They can compete on a life-cycle basis in high-usage vehicles (taxis, buses, trucks) in many regions based on fuel cost savings (and potentially depreciation). But competing on upfront cost in low-to-mid range segments? I don’t see it.


Kind of depends on charging speeds. If charging speed triples or more, smaller batteries are less of a problem for lower income people. If they still need to charge for 5-10 minutes per week at a public station but that is much cheaper than gas, they are ahead – especially with low EV maintenance.

Get a 75% reduction in battery cost and cut that in half again with a smaller battery and that low end segment is cheap. Imagine like a 150 mile Leaf being under $20k. I think that would be quite compelling for an economy car.

Then of course, all those used Model 3s in 2025 only being worth $15-20k – but that’s true for any used car.


Low cost car ownership will go away due to car sharing / autonomous mobility. High end will go to EVs.

Robert Middleswarth

First that 10k gas tank today would have cost you 25k just 6 years ago when the Nissan Leaf came out. That same 10k will likely drop to 5k in 5 years or 2.5k in 10 years. You combine that with the much cheaper Transmission system and remove many of the ICE only parts of the cars and you will see cost pretty close to current ICE prices adjusting for inflation.

However, I also expect that much of the low-end part of the market will be gone. Autonomous Ride Sharing is likely going to kill the low end of the market. People who are likely to buy the econoboxes because they need something to go back and forth to work are likely going to use something like Uber where it will just be cheaper.

William Edwards

Just look at how many thousands GM shaved off the price of the Gen2 Volt, which a bunch of that being the battery pack thanks to new battery technology courtesy of the US labs. Battery prices are dropping like 14-16% per year per Tony Seba’s and others, higher production numbers, more factories…every year they improve. So that $10k Bolt battery will be a good bit cheaper…radically cheaper if we get a battery breakthrough.

Interesting Book:
“The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World”

Doggydogworld said: “How will EV be ‘upfront price competitive’ in 10-12 years? The manufacturing cost of the Bolt’s ‘fuel tank’ is $10k+. That’s more than the manufacturing cost of the entire Chevy Sonic. Even if you cut battery costs 75% you’re still at a disadvantage in the low-mid range.” The only reason BEVs don’t already out-compete gasmobiles in the mid-price range is because economy of scale currently favors gasmobiles. In 10 years, that ratio will certainly be reversed. Heck, it may be reversed in as little as 5 years. As far as the low price range, including the MSRP $17,145 Sonic: At this stage of the EV revolution, I don’t really care all that much about the bottom-most price tier. The top 8 best-selling cars (not light trucks) for 2016 in the USA were all priced between $19,375 and $24,985**. Once that segment is captured by BEVs, the triumph of the EV revolution will become inevitable, and by then it will be obvious to very nearly everyone that the conquest of the last remaining segments of street-legal, highway capable vehicles — those segments being the cheapest cars and long-range trucking — will be only a matter of time. **2016 sales,… Read more »

Norway went from 3% PI, in 2013 to approaching 40% of new car sales today.
That’s an extreme example of what can happen in just a few short years.
Will it take 3 decades for the rest of the world to approach Norway numbers?
I don’t think so.


Norway has some pretty extreme subsidies, it makes no sense to extrapolate their numbers globally.

Some Guy

51 % in China in 2040 is ridiculous.
I seriously doubt 49% of new car buyers will still be allowed ICE in China by then.


Both China and India will probably ban ICE car sales around 2040.


23 years from now? I think that will almost certainly happen at an earlier date in China, and quite possibly in India too. Heck, I expect that by that date there will be at least some market segments in first-world countries where internal combustion vehicles will be banned, altho likely still allowed in other segments.

But even without such bans, I expect demand for ordinary cars with internal combustion engines will be sharply lower by then in first-world countries. By 2040, I expect most if not all of the current deficiencies of BEVs (such as the inability to fast charge in <10 minutes) will have been overcome, and ICEVs will be seen as inferior in nearly every respect, as well as being priced higher than BEVs.


If they count PHEV as “plug” then they might reach half this projection.

Micke Larsson

Why would they not? And half this is ridiculous.

Twice this would be more realistic.


Based on?

Micke Larsson

Based on logic, current statistics, growth rates, car manufacturers plans regarding everything from new models to predicted and projected plug-in shares, government mandates, city mandates and statement from cities, trends, surveys regarding future customers and a lot more.


Well this study does not show that growth.


Based on the fact that even at a modest 25% growth rate per year**, the international market segment for plug-in EVs would mathematically reach 100% before 2040.

Of course the “S” curve of adoption of a new tech doesn’t work that way; there is a slowing after about the 55-60% level is reached. But still, it seems reasonable to think PEVs will have captured at least 75-80% of the market by then.

**According to Wikipedia’s “Electric car use by country” article: “The global market share of the light-duty plug-in vehicle segment represented 0.86% of new car sales in 2016, up from 0.62% in 2015 and 0.38% in 2014.”

The growth from 0.38% to 0.62% represents a 38.7% increase.

Taylor S Marks

Their predictions for 2020 (3%) and 2025 (8%) don’t seem to far off – it’s 2030 where I think they’re way off. I’d expect over 30%, whereas their number is only 24%. It becomes laughably wrong in 2035, where I’d expect it to have already hit 100%, but their chart is only showing 43%.


In general I agree with you. However, I’m thinking by 2030 we could very well be over the 50% point.

Robert Middleswarth

I think they are close until around 2030 when their curve starts to slow down whereas in real life it will likely speed up as EV take mindshare and ICE vehicles become more and more limit use vehicle.


That’s what I think, too, specifically that the adaption rate of electric cars will be accelerating around 2030, not deaccelerating.

At some point, buyers will simply refuse to buy ICE vehicles because they will see the benefits of gong electric. And buyers will be concerned about the resale value of ICE vehicles, and consequently avoid them. This should take place well in advance of 2040.


That is my suspicion as well. I think they’re right about the slow start to the ramp up, but the S should be a lot steeper. It’s just like with solar and wind, the technology is going to develop in such a way that gas cars just get rendered obsolete. I think that happens by 2030 or 2035.

john gilkison

The kWh battery price only has to reach $125 to make EV’s price competitive and they are well on their way to that price with increasing scale of production.

The price is there already…

Why Not?

ICE vehicles will continue to get more expensive over time because of increased environmental regulations, so it will be easier for EVs to reach price parity.

Also, as EVs keep reaching ever higher market share there are additional advantages. Automakers will see “the writing on the wall” and will reduce development of new ICE models to focus on EVs. (As Volvo is doing already) The remaining ICE models will be perceived as outdated.

I agree that there will always be hold-outs who will only drive an EV “over their dead body”, but I think once excitement and momentum shifts to EVs the change will be fairly quick and drastic.

The only thing that could hold back rapid adoption would be a lack of sufficient battery supply. Let’s hope that battery manufacturers will get their butt in gear and will start building giga factories en masse by the early to 2020s.

William Edwards

I still think a PHEV for the truck/SUV market would sell like gangbusters vs. cars since that market seems to keep growing even though the vast majority do not need a truck/SUV. I guess the Big 3 just don’t want to sacrifice margin on those highly profitable vehicles, but someone will build a truck as rocking at the F150 if Ford continues their bad behavior…


Economy’s of scale are important because every other component and the batterys need to come down in price.
A Nissan Leaf will have its own wind shield, it’s own seats, it’s own fenders ect’.


2040? Good grief! I would hope that by 2040, the gasmobile market will have shrunk to a rather small niche, and that any talk of “growth” in the EV market would have a lot more to do with general economic upturns and downturns than any remaining competition from the hopefully tiny remaining market for new gasmobiles.

In the 9 years since 2008 and the release of the Tesla Roadster, PEVs (Plug-in EVs) have grown from essentially zero to nearly 2% of the international market. Less than two orders of magnitude growth left before PEVs have 95%+ of the market! If the rapid improvement in EV tech can’t capture nearly all of that in another 23 years, then something is very wrong.


Edit: “…nearly 2% of the international market…”

Ack! :embarrassed: According to Wikipedia, the international market share for PEVs was only 0.86 last year. Mea culpa; I’m getting ahead of myself!


“Given the fact they needed to make an adjustment of ~50% after just a year, we aren’t sure how much stock one can put into a long term report…”

I’m shocked, SHOCKED I say that anyone might suggest these long-term forecasts are anything less than rigorously researched, completely accurate, and created for absolutely altruistic purposes, never tarnished by any company’s financial motives!


Or, slightly more seriously, does anyone really think these “forecasts” will turn out to be any more accurate than a monkey throwing darts at a blank chart?


Bnef had also forecast last year that ev adoption would impact by 2022 on oil demand equivalent to the supply glut in 2013.

That will also need to be brought foward.

Still reckon it looks light though at the front end (3million by 2021). This year is likely see 1.1million. Next year with tesla m2, leaf v2 and 8% china regs goes close to 2million.

paul smith

Consider what happens when gas stations that operate at thin margins now have a mere 10% drop in business, or 15% or 20%. Then what happens when service garages start to fold, parts for ICEs are harder to find and therefore more expensive.