EV Market Share Predictions Are All Over The Map


Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn predicted that his company would sell 1.5 million EVs by 2016, contributing exponentially to a boost in global EV market share

Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn predicted that his company would sell 1.5 million EVs by 2016, contributing exponentially to a boost in global EV market share

The press and analysts are filled with optimism, as well as skepticism, concerning the rise of EV market share. The range of speculation and opinion could not be more diverse.

Ford CEO Mark Fields has some feelings about the EPA's timing to lock up 2025 CO2/CAFE standards before President-Elect Trump takes office

Ford CEO Mark Fields wants more relaxed emissions targets and his company is not pushing to sell EVs

While Exane BNP Paribas (global investment firm) assumes aggressive EV sales acceleration, with projections of a 16 percent market share by 2025, IHS Markit (market analysis firm) is estimating the saturation by then to be at only 3.4 percent.

Christian Mueller, a manager at IHS Markit said:

“We are conservative … Automaker planning numbers are usually far removed from reality. A lot of this is price negotiation. If you’re asking for 1 million units, you get a different price than for a more realistic 500,000.”

He pins Volkswagen group as one such automaker. VW Group is projecting 2-3 million EV sales by 2025, however IHS Markit and Mueller don’t believe that this is a reality. At this point, the company is already complaining that it can’t get the batteries it needs, and has only just begun to showcase concept vehicles.

Back in 2012, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn estimated that his company would hit the mark of 1.5 million EVs by 2016. Renault-Nissan, regardless of the success of the Nissan LEAF, didn’t come close to achieving such numbers. The actual figures amount to less than one-third of Ghosn’s projections.

GM is receiving a myriad of positive press related to its new Chevrolet Bolt. The Bolt has received many awards thus far, and is now in the public eye, more than any other EV that has preceded it (aside from Tesla). However, GM has decided not to sell the Bolt’s European counterpart, the Opel Ampera-e, in the U.K. Pam Fletcher, GM’s head of EV development shared:

“When we made that decision, we had the [range-extended] Ampera in the marketplace, and the environment wasn’t good for electric vehicles.”

Ford continues to mostly “hide” its plug-in vehicles from the public, and pricing in the past has been criticized as too high, and the vehicles aren’t always readily available (Focus Electric). Advertising for Ford’s EVs has been almost nonexistent, and it seems like CEO Mark Fields is leading the battle to convince the new administration to lessen emissions requirements and relax fuel efficiency standards.

Nonetheless, EV Volumes shows that global EV market share (anything with a plug) is on a steady and increasing rise. According to Autonews via EV Volumes:

“In the first nine months of 2016, sales of all vehicles with a power cord, including plug-in hybrids, were up 53 percent to nearly 518,000.”

Update: Through November about 660,000 plug-ins had been sold, up 48% from the year prior (446,000)

Source: Autonews

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32 Comments on "EV Market Share Predictions Are All Over The Map"

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(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

All I have to say is that our next cars will not have an ICE in it……PERIOD!

You are an example of someone who has been educated. Ask 10 of your next-door neighbors and let us know how many feel the exact same way.

The EV “revolution” will take decades.

I can’t convince members of my own family to buy an EV and I have been driving one successfully for five years (this coming July). And I have solar PV. Only one nearby neighbor also got it recently and that was through SolarCity installing on a shaded roof “for free”.

Depending on where you live, EV could cost more to charge than comparable gas cars unless you have solar. Since most of your neighbors don’t, they probably see the economics of EV not working well. Or maybe I’m giving too much credit to your neighbors’ ability to analyze things.

Yeah, it will take a while . . . but it could happen faster than we anticipate. If battery prices do drop to $100/KWH in a few years with oil prices rising back up near triple digits, the EV market could take off like a rocket.

You just eventually hit a tipping point where the economics really work, people become more educated, people become more comfortable, and BOOM!

Right. It will probably steadily increase, and my thinking is that by 2025 we might be around almost 10% market share for EVs at best. This is my prediction for the U.S.

Found this article from Danish newspaper from 2009 Energy-company DONG promising 500.000 electric cars in Denmark by 2020
We did not get there yet! Last year was sold less than 500 BEV, a guess is that we have less than 10000 EV in DK

“Everyone” is trying to kick start this market. Wild claims and over-exaggeration has led to many things. From the very-high stock price of $TSLA to GM not seeing their own guidance of Volt sales met in the early 201x years (was to be 60,000 per year by 2014).

It’s like trying to convince all the people you know to be hard-core fans of your favorite band. It just won’t happen that easily.

EVs will grow slow, steadily and will be like Denmark in that when the incentives drop, sales will drop – but costs of scale will help lower prices, more public charging will attract some more buyers, used car markets will shine in plug-ins because of their cheap re-sale prices, etc.

Prius did fine after 20 years and so EVs will also. However, there are far more plug-in varieties than the Prius – and so, all EV makers wil share smaller slices of a moderately small pie and that is where the problems lie – their costs of scale cannot shrink fast enough and EVs tend to be loss leaders for all EV makers. Including Tesla.

So true.

I’m with IHS Markit. There are a host of obstacles blocking widespread EV acceptance – disparate charging standards, high depreciation, poor cold weather performance, cost of charger installation, range anxiety, higher cost to purchase, poor dealer support, no advertising, and so on.

As for the Focus Electric example – give me a break. Ford sold 901 Focus EVs last year, but sold almost 1000 times that many F-150s. Ford prints money with the F-150, and likely loses money on the Focus EV. Even $8 gas won’t change Americans’ affinity for trucks, nor Ford’s interest in making money.

Truck sales fell 20% with gas only priced around $4/gallon… at $8/gallon, I’m pretty sure they’d fall 90%.

What will cause that price? And if you “want” $8 gas, get ready for a recession bigger than 2008. You don’t want to live in the USA if there is $8 gas quickly.

@Taylor S Marks:
That’s not true.

2012 gas price: $4.00
2012 truck sales = 13.4% of the market

2016 gas price: $2.50
2016 truck sales = 12.7% of the market

Americans will pay anything for a gallon of gas. Only price spikes affect buying patterns. I firmly believe that if gas crept up to $8/gallon over the course of a few years, truck sales wouldn’t change much.

True, but there is no reason why a truck (or a % of trucks) can’t be plugin hybrids or BEV’s. Suggesting that EV sales will remain low in the USA if the only vehicles on offer are sub-100 mile or 100-ish ranged hatch backs is perfectly reasonable but if there is an increase in PHEV and EV SUV’s and larger cars it would be perfectly possible to see significant growth in that market. Nearly 50% of the US market is trucks and SUV’s. We are just starting to see SUV’s with plugs being made available but there is still nothing in the truck segment. If Nissan / Mitsubishi start selling Outlander, Pathfinder and X-trail PHEV’s then I think the story in the US would change fairly rapidly. The challenge that I see is that the car industry needs time to ramp up, we are already seeing spikes in the lithium price, these are transient and I believe they will drop when more supply comes online but this is just one example of some of the things that are holding the industry back. The other thing to keep in mind is the EU has essentially mandated 20-30% of EV’s in new… Read more »

50% of the market is not trucks. I think you mean SUVs and crossovers. Trucks are less than 15%.

It’s really a spectrum now, anyway. There are cars with crossover-like qualities, crossovers that are car-like, crossovers that are more SUV-like, true SUVs, “SUV-trucks” with large extended cabs, and so on.

EVs will dominate all these categories as batteries become cheap. It will have little to do with gas economics. It’s power, reliability, handling, maintenance, etc.
In real life, a long-range EV is just an easier, more fun car to own. The problem has been that, outside of Tesla, the ranges were just too short for most people (usually in their mind).

Without factoring in the Model 3, we’re already on track for over 1% of all new sales worldwide to be EVs in 2017. Including the Model 3, I think we’ll pass 3% in 2019 – six years earlier than IHS Markit expects.

Reaching 1% took six years. From the late 2010 intro of Leaf/Volt/Karma to now over 60 worldwide plug-in models available. Now, they need to sell more units. Three times the sales of 2016 is possible but not in three years. What’s the incentive? The USA loses the $7500 tax credit and that slows sales. European countries have had some incentives but cannot afford to do it forever. China has big incentives and will probably be the #1 plug-in market for years to come – cheaper-made, less capable EVs, not of the same quality as the USA. But plug-in cars in Asia will do fine. 3% is a growth rate of 100% each year for 2017 and 2018 worldwide. That is unimaginable. The USA growth of plug-ins for 2016 was only 37% YoY. I know a lot of companies “imagined” higher and faster growth. That is why they got into the business. GM felt that they would be selling 45k Volts in the USA and 15k worldwide by 2014. Nope, didn’t happen and yet the Volt is probably the best choice for plug-in buyers in general since it can use the 100,000 gasoline superchargers out there if they must travel far.

It’s a difficult question but we all tend to make assumptions about conditions so what about a country that reached 40% market-share of new vehicles sold. Yes, it is hard to imagine:

Norway shows what can happen when the government uses a very large stick (taxes and fees up to 100% of purchase price) to suppress gasmobile sales, and makes the purchase of PEVs tax-free.

But that doesn’t say much about how fast the market for PEVs is going to grow naturally, which is the important question here.

I agree it’s an extreme example, an outlier, but it is an actual fact and the only real instance of mass, accelerated ev adoption.

So it is relevant in that sense, as we all tend to exclude the examples that do not coincide with our own analysis, which people trained not to do so, even do. They fail to have objective outlooks, though they are on the look out for that very thing.

But you are ignoring the technological changes.

If technology & prices remain as they are, I do not foresee much change. But if battery prices continue to drop (and oil prices go up), things could really take off. At least of those will probably happen.

There is the psychological element Trollnonymous raised by saying he will only buy evs. Most people who buy one feel this way. When 25% of all buyers will only buy evs and as that percentage just keeps growing it will eventually destroy most of the ice passenger car market, which is already in great trouble.

Still it will probably take 20 years and there will still be ice, but not as many, as in many countries we already hit peak car.

Widespread adoption of EVs will follow an S curve overall and will be heavily affected by changing technology and price and undoubtedly be uneven by States/areas initially.

I.E, California will get there first and new models with new technology at better prices will be a determining factor of the rate of adoption.

Cars like the Model 3 will demonstrate this very quickly once they hit the streets.

It’s easy to point and laugh at just how wrong the various predictions have been about year-on-year growth of PEV sales, but to be fair, Yogi Berra was right to say “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

Sure, sales growth will follow an “S” curve, and we can rightly criticize most published predictions for ignoring that reality. But exactly how fast the upward trend will be in the first half of that curve, it’s too early to say. The trend isn’t yet clear. Hopefully in another 3-4 years we’ll be able to hazard a ballpark prediction.

They SHOULD BE all over the map. No one knows! I certainly don’t. Place your bets!

Too many unknowns . . . battery prices, terrorist attacks, climate legislation, solar PV prices, wars, climate change affects hitting us and changing our priorities, oil discoveries, etc.

Another (Euro) industrial point of view

Well in Norway given the way ICE are taxed (all in all more than 50% if I got it right) EVs should have a 80% penetration and not around 35% as now. This seems to show that it is not sufficient to have them cheap and have an efficient chargers network, they will need to beat the ICE on practicality as well, and that is range. GM Bolt type of EV should hopefully be the beginning of an answer to that problem.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

An easy way to get EV adoption is to reallocate the Gas subsidies and apply them to EV incenitves.

Or hell, just gradually reduce gas subsidies and and watch people move to EV’s.

We’re pretty much getting gas free with the gooberments help. It’s the drug dealer effect…….ya know what I mean??

Here is some good news on that front that puts a big question to where oil prices are heading. Nowhere, really is what I think, as we are in glut and will be for some time.


Why didn’t people buy more hybrids and EVs when gas was $4/gallon (selection isn’t the reason; there were plenty of hybrid options in 2012)? Why did trucks comprise the same fraction of the market then that they do today?

We won’t see a change in behavior at $4, so just how high a price do you think is necessary to change Americans’ purchasing behavior?

With bolt, pacifica & prius prime this year will see well over 1% sales. It has already courted and breached with 1% over the last few months.

3% in 2018. With doubling of battery production and a raft of ze germans, brits getting their act together and tesla model 3.

5% by 2020

That the base of the S curve done after that its kaboom rocket ship.

EVs will gain widespread popularity when they appeal to Texans, farmers, hillbillies, grandmothers, apartment dwellers, and soccer moms – in other words, regular people who don’t want a car that requires special care and feeding.

If they can make a 60 kWh car, they can make a 60 kWh truck or SUV, which is what Americans want.