Electric Sales Predicted To Surpass Gas Sales Within A Decade


Chevy Bolt EV

Chevy Bolt EV

Experts are predicting that electric car sales will surpass gas car sales within the next 10 years.

This may seem pretty unbelievable since 2015 numbers from the Energy Information Association show that only 7% of all U.S. vehicle sales were alternative fuel (electric, hybrid, etc.)

Nissan IDS Concept foreshadowing next generation LEAF for 2017

Nissan IDS Concept foreshadowing next generation LEAF for 2017

Argonne National Laboratory is predicting that by 2030, non-hybrid gas cars will make up only 23% of the total market. The report (full report in PDF form here) says that 58% of the light vehicle market will be electric.

Tech Insider points out:

“That flip-flop would mean Americans would use 2.4 million fewer barrels of oil per day, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 400 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.”

Tesla’s Model 3 and GM’s Chevy Bolt EV are perfect examples of the direction the market is heading. Both vehicles have reported ranges of over 200 miles and will be priced from the mid to upper 30k range. Finally, electric cars for the masses.

Ten years may seem soon in the grand scheme of things, but just think of the amount of progress that has been made in the last few years and it is accelerating quickly!

Source: Tech Insider

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45 Comments on "Electric Sales Predicted To Surpass Gas Sales Within A Decade"

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Texas FFE

As much as I would like to believe this report, I don’t. Other reports I’ve seen indicate a 30% EV market share by ’30-’40, that number is far more believable. Even with only a 30% market share that’s still about 8 million EVs sold in the US every year factoring market growth, that’s a far cry from the 100k+ per year that are currently being sold.

no comment

i suspect that if i did read the report that i would find the comment credible but that the actual report is being presented here in a misleading fashion.

i suspect that what the report is actually saying is that if you look at *all* hybrid cars, they would make up 75% of the automobile market. this would seem even more credible if “total market” meant the entire world and not the u.s. (i’m not sure from reading the article). but that doesn’t mean that a large percentage of hybrid cars would be bev’s – that would not seem credible to me.

the presentation here is misleading because only bev’s are shown. while that does make sense since this is a bev-oriented website, it would have been better to state what percentage of the total hybrid market were bev’s given the focus of this website.

Scott R

Correct. Keeping an updated spreadsheet on passenger vehicles (US only) I get 1/2 of total sales volume in 2033 or 2034. That’s just the most realistic scenario.


Can anyone calculate how much gigafactories do we need for that to happen?


Hold on…


Let’s start with a few assumptions:
Batteries for 500K vehicles can be supplied per Gigafactory.
This assumes 30GWh of batteries can be manufactured per factory and the 500k vehicles will use 60kWh battery packs.
Let’s assume through moderate growth, there will be ~100 million new cars manufactured per year by 2030.
58% will be EVs in 2030 = 58 million cars
All this equates to ~116 Gigafactories built and at full capacity by 2030.
Given a 5 year ramp to build and achieve full production, the last of the 116 Gigafactories will have to start construction by 2025. That’s 9 years to start building 114 Gigafactories.
114 instead of 116 as Tesla is working on getting one built and LG Chem has or will soon have roughly about 1 Gigafactory in capacity across all their manufacturing facilities.
So for the next 9 years, the world will have to start construction on 12.7 Gigafactories per year.
While I would love to see this happen, I don’t believe it’s likely to happen. If there’s a major battery breakthrough around 10x the engergy capacity, it’s possible the number of Gigafactories could be reduced.


Not bad except your kwhr/EV is way off.
It’ll be more like 20-30kwhrs/EV.
Even 200 mile ones will only need 40kwhr or less in the future.
Likely the t3 will only have 50KWHR even or a lot more than 200mile range.


IT’s _electrified_ vehicles, which includes hybrid, not electric vehicle. But their market percentages are utterly hysterical.


Misleading headline / Click-bait.
There is quite a difference between “within the decade” and “within a decade”.


Yes, but merely an error. In the first few lines they say within the next 10 years, so they should say within a decade, not the decade, as that implies the last day of 2019.
But, slack, cut ’em some.
The sub-genius must have slack.


When the main point of the story is the timeframe, then I expect the journalist/reposter to notice. Sorry to be the grumpy old man 😉

Yes, just a slip on Steven’s part – not an elaborate ploy to gain ‘clicks’…if that were the case would have found a way to pepper in “Model 3” in there somewhere.

/fixed, thanks




Not even going to happen within a decade. We need to have a 300wh/Kg. And then EV sales will START. Taking off. I say 5% i. 2020, 15% by 2025. The whole industry needs to change, then people’s mindsneed to change(the hard part)!

Wishfull thinking is nice, but we need to keep our heads cool.


This report is over 2 years old. The DOE’s Vehicle Technology Office commissioned it to justify more funding for…. the Vehicle Technology Office!

In 2020 they forecast:
– PHEVs at 38% (!!)
– Conventional at 38%
– Hybrids at 23%
– Diesel at 0.7%
– EVs at 0.3%
– Fuel cells at 0.2%

Of course this assumes VTO gets funded. Otherwise we’re all doomed to driving gascars forever……

Brave Lil Toaster

Wow, those are some truly fantastical numbers there. Also, I think that the author of this “study” doesn’t like EVs and has a hard-on for the Volt. Considering that BEVs have already exceeded his 0.3% prediction for 8 years from now, and that all other PHEVs have either matched or barely beaten out BEV sales, I’d say that this thing is pure fantasy.


(imo) — The US “sea change” car:

1. $25k-ish.
2. Useful body style/size (i.e. Fit, Golf)
3. 120+ miles range
4. Battery life: 15 years, 180,000 miles.

/If this car was available, I think you would see things change rapidly.


In the US? Where the best selling “car” is a truck, people think the Fit is at most a single-person commuter and the Golf is just barely OK for an urban couple?


Perceptions can change.

When I run the True Cost to Own numbers on a car like I’m describing, it would save close to $4500/year vs a SUV/4 door pickup … averaged out over a 15 year life span (depreciation, fuel, maintenance being the primary reasons). Beyond that, I anticipate that the 15 year old BEV (probably still valued at $5,000+) will get a new battery and live another 10+ years as a refurbed budget car.

Tesla has shown us that BEV’s can be very sporty, I expect that will be the appeal going forward, .. and that never goes out of style.


Most US households have at least 2 or 3 cars, … so the future may still hold a pickup/SUV in every driveway. It just won’t get driven that much.


one more add, …

5. Sporty drive

That should have been added to my list above. And should probably be listed as number one.

6 second 0 to 60 could be the norm going forward in “regular’ EV’s (like the eGolf, Leaf) Anyone one with a brain will recognize that maneuvering through city traffic is far more enjoyable in a smooth/sporty “right sized” BEV than an obnoxiously oversized/vibrating pickup.


and (possibly) my last add,…

Every year …
Fewer Americans live on a farm.
Fewer Americans own a boat.
Fewer Americans camp.

And yet, … Americans NEED more pickups/SUVs ???
We are brainwashed, pure and simple. We should save our “ego money” and use it to go do something.

“Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker …..”,


Most trucks are 3 person vehicles blowing that point and mostly used for commuting.
So why hasn’t big auto brought out an EV mini pickup?


No single vehicle model could possibly do this. Even the best-selling car of all time can’t carry the entire fleet. And at no time in history has any single vehicle model made up 33% of sales.

What the world needs is for every automaker to make several different types of EV. Nothing less will do.

BLT, I agree: “What the world needs is for every automaker to make several different types of EV. Nothing less will do.” Among the several types: $10,000 EV’s that get 100 Miles/160 Kms Range…in Summer AND Winter; Small Hatchbacks, Subcompact Sedans and Coupes. $20,000 EV’s that get 210 Miles/335 Kms Range…in Summer AND Winter; Hatchbacks, Station Wagons, Sedans and Coupes. $30,000 EV’s that get 315 Miles/500 Kms Range…in Summer AND Winter; Sedans, CUV’s, Coupes and Station Wagons. $30,000 Small EV Pickups, that get 210 Miles/335 Kms Range…in Summer AND Winter, and can Tow up to 3,500 Lbs for 150 Miles. $40,000 Mid-size Pickups, that get 315 Miles/500 Kms Range…in Summer AND Winter, and can Tow up to 5,000 Lbs for 250 Miles. $60,000 Full-size Pickups, that get 350 Miles/550 Kms Range…in Summer AND Winter, and can Tow up to 10,000 Lbs for 300 Miles. Also assume Fast Charging included, higher prices in each category, for upgraded interior, higher level performance options, more range choices, etc. I also believe there will still be room for things like Electric Limousines with 500 Miles range per charge; Electric Cube Vans with 150-200+ Miles range, Electric Farm Tractors that can run at least 5-6… Read more »
scott franco (No M3 FAUX GRILL!)

%25 by 2025.

%25 being pure BEV sales. Hybrids will have a slow death Spiral before 2020.

I would love to see this happen, but it depends on one thing: Trucks.

If they make good hybrid / EREV / BEV trucks, this could definitely happen. If not, the numbers don’t add up. Trucks are the most popular vehicles in America and that won’t be changing by 2030.

You can’t run a ranch or a construction company with a Prius.


People always over-estimate the possible change in the short term and under estimate in the long run.

It took like 5 years to go from 0 to 100k plugins per year. Optimistically it will go to 1M per year by 2020 (so less than 10%). Then what happens by 2030 is difficult to say. It could continue to grow slowly or autonomous EVs can completely take over making gas cars obsolete.


You could have autonomous gas cars though.
I think the 3 main items of plug-in acceptance are

1) Price/styles
2) Place to plug in
3) Familiarity/confidence


Sure – just stating the big range that is possible.

But I should say – autonomous EVs that companies like Uber maintain (and most of us don’t buy) makes a lot of sense. They would be easier to auto-charge too.


I agree that full autonomy is a wild card. Ford is saying they could have level 4 going in certain areas by 2020.

A glimpse into Ford’s sharing plans for the automotive future

Someone out there

In the West – absolutely. The S curve will accelerate fast from hereon, in 10 years very few cars will be gas-only cars on the lots.
In emerging markets progress will probably be slower, although things are moving along greatly in China and India is coming too.

Jake Brake

There will be a ton of 48v hybrids to skew the numbers.


Agreed. I expect most vehicles will be equipped with stop / start light hybrid tech in the next 3 to 5 years.
Chevrolet . com had stop / start tech listed in the mechanical section of the 2016 Cruze on all automatic transmission trims, but it’s been removed (I just looked again). My guess is this will end up being a 2017 model year feature.


Car ownership is already on decline among millennials and combined with S curve take off, it may even be possible.


Yet another useless “report” at taxpayer expense. There are simply too many relevant factors, and no way to predict this.

Noone has ever successfully predicted the timing of any significant technology change, ever. That’s the nature of dispruption.

This is even true of silly tiny things like cellphone ringtones, or text messages, where the tech involved is trivial.


This is obsolete report from March 2014, where did get such old “news”?
It assumes that gas price will skyrocket above $4 after 2015 and will go up (Figure 5). Obviously it was just the opposite.


The writers of this report did not expect anything like Tesla or Nissan leaf to happen within 30 years.
They did not expect PV and wind to influence the price of electricity.
They did not even see natural gas fracking displace coal in the next couple of decades.
They think the technology for the next 30 years is mostly Prius with a bit of volt thrown in.


I would like to believe that but that is a bit too optimistic.

But I’ll that this . . . that is not impossible. it COULD happen. If Tesla ships the Model 3 at $35K and we push down battery prices to $100/KWH in the years after . . . it definitely could happen.


To me this scenario is not optimistic at all: the residual values of used ICEs will start to drop quickly once EVs reach a certain market share (10%, 15%?). This will make ICE cars relatively more and more expensive. Who will buy a new ICE e.g. in 2023, anticipating a residual value close to zero some 5 year later. As a consequence the number of new ICE car sales will collapse within maybe a year or two). Car rental and leasing businesses will be the first ones to stop buying / financing ICEs at all for that very reason (the rental and leasing rates for ICE cars would simply not be competitive anymore), and this will be the start of a residual value collapse because many car owners will then try to get rid of their used ICE cars as long as there still is a market (rat race).

Anti-Lord Kelvin

As I never leased or rented a car I never thought about this. But it’s a really good point you made, specially in US with a lot of renting and leasing companies, much more than here in Europe.


I think that what you say is correct, it makes sense to me.

Anti-Lord Kelvin

For the accurateness of this report it will be interesting to see how much time will it take to Norway to attain the 50% of market share for new car sales. For now we had: 1,6% in 2011, 3,1% in 2012, 5,6% in 2013, 13,8% in 2014, 22,4% in 2015, and we are at an average 30% in 2016 until April. My bet is that in 2018, with new extended version of e-golf, Nissan leaf, European version of the Bolt, Tesla X and Tesla 3 (at the end of 2018), we should have this 50% of market share. Sure, Norway is special case, but it is worth to note that will be a seven years time frame between 1% to 50% of market share. So for the US, 1% for 2016 to 50% in 2023? Maybe not, but suddenly 50% in 2025 seems not so hard to believe.


Let’s just say that in the US it will take about 10 years to get really close to 50% marketshare for Plug-In vehicles.

Anyway, your conclusion is correct.