Prediction: 50% Of All New Cars Sold Globally Will Be Electric By 2033

DEC 9 2018 BY MARK KANE 76

In 15 years electric cars will take half of the global market?

According to the DNV GL forecast, the growth of electric car sales will accelerate and it will take the shape of an S-shaped curve of innovation.

In result, 50% of all new cars sold globally to be electric by 2033, which is about 15 years from now (today’s average is roughly 20 times lower).

DNV GL says also that in the main phase, we will see growth from less than 10% to more than 90% within 10 years.

We need to wait a few years to reach double-digit market share on a global scale (some countries already enjoy this level of EV revolution).

The barriers noted by DNV GL that slow down the pace are higher upfront costs of EVs, range anxiety and an insufficient charging infrastructure. We assume that a few years from now it will be way better both in terms of models to choose from and the infrastructure perspective.

“These are the findings of DNV GL’s annual Energy Transition Outlook, which provides a forecast of the global energy landscape up to 2050.

Statistics from the World Economic Forum reveal that several countries, including Germany, Norway, Netherlands, UK, France and India have already set out targets to phase-out or ban petrol and diesel cars in the years to come. The forecasts in DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook reveal that these targets are achievable. However, there are challenges facing the uptake of EVs, including cost, range anxiety and concerns about infrastructure.

With a mission to shift the industry from being policy-driven to market-driven and support its our customers to overcome these challenges, DNV GL has today outlined its ambitions for the growing sector. Based on 10 years of experience working with stakeholders across the EV value-chain, including automotive OEMs, charge point operators, network operators, utilities and governments, DNV GL has identified four clear areas of expertise; safety, communication and control, flexibility and emerging technologies.

With a focus on these four areas, DNV GL will support its customers to adopt new technologies, implement policy and make decisions that adapt current technological, economical, and regulatory business models to take advantage of this rapidly growing market.

As part of its strategic focus on the EV market, DNV GL has appointed Jeremy Parkes as global business lead for EVs. Jeremy has 20 years’ experience in the automotive and renewable energy industries, at Rolls Royce, Garrad Hassan and Belltown Power. He has a proven ability to deliver strategic insight and achieve substantial growth in new business areas and will be responsible for defining and developing DNV GL’s services in the EV sector, to cement the company’s role as a leader in this fast-developing field.”

“The full Energy Transition Outlook ‘Power Supply and Use’ report is available for a free download at This publication is part of DNV GL’s suite of Energy Transition Outlook reports.”

Speaking about his appointment, Jeremy Parkes commented:

“The EV revolution is the start of a huge transition in the automotive industry, which has been dominated by the internal combustion engine for more than a century. I am excited to have joined DNV GL to help accelerate this transition through projects that drive down the overall cost of ownership, improve vehicle range and efficiently integrate charging infrastructure. The combination of electric vehicles, substantial growth in renewable energy generation and the expansion of smart grid solutions will be key enablers of the clean and flexible energy systems of the future.”

Ditlev Engel, CEO, DNV GL – Energy commented:

“The growth of EVs signals real progress in reducing our carbon emissions globally. To overcome the challenges facing the industry, the development of EVs and associated infrastructure will need to go from being only policy-driven to also being market-driven. I’m excited to announce our ambitions for the industry and pleased to welcome Jeremy to the team. Through this new commitment and the breadth and depth of our knowledge, we will help existing and future customers navigate the EV revolution and make the most of its opportunities.”

Categories: General


Leave a Reply

76 Comments on "Prediction: 50% Of All New Cars Sold Globally Will Be Electric By 2033"

newest oldest most voted

Assuming “cars” doesn’t include pickup trucks and BOF SUVs I could see that and certainly hope that is the case.

I think that means all light vehicle sales which would include pickups and SUV’s.

The ICE pickup truck market will be disrupted violently, simply because it is way more fun to drive electric pickup truck, and the fuel savings are way better as compared to ICE vs BEV passenger cars.

The US pickup truck market is really 2 markets: the commercial market where people buy trucks because they need them and the consumer market. For the commercial truck market for users who don’t need to tow heavy or non-aerodynamic trailers long distances as soon as TCO is favorable for BEVs they will take off. For in town only pickups that could be pretty soon. For long range towing requiring 500kWh or more batteries it will be a while or perhaps PHEV will make more sense.

For the consumer market, butch looks (non-aerodynamic) and loud exhaust sell for at least a good chunk. That will be a tougher nut to crack. BEV motorcycles haven’t exactly dominated the market and they have been out for a while. We will see how Rivan does.

There are already plugin hybrid pickup trucks. The best one I’ve seen so far is a conversion, a serial plugin hybrid with a genset you can easily mount and dis-mount in the front trunk.

Conversions and prototypes don’t count for much. There have been cottage industries converting gasmobiles to EVs for decades now. The EV revolution certainly hasn’t taken off due to cottage industry conversions. (Where is Via Motors going? Nowhere; they’re practically stuck in idle.) The best you can say for cottage industry EVs is that they have helped create some hardcore EV enthusiasts, who certainly have been strong advocates for the EV revolution. But that won’t ever result in EVs going mainstream.

You misundertood. Obviously new BEVs are replacing ICE. But even legacy ICE vehicles are not safe and are subject to conversions.

I’ve never seen anyone claim they did an ICE–>EV conversion because the ICE “wasn’t safe”. And I doubt I ever will.

Your description of the current truck culture is accurate. I see urban/suburban cowboys in massive pickup trucks taking off from a traffic light as if in a race and with the noise and smoke that comes with it, on a daily basis.
However, people’s attitudes change. I think that once electric pickups are out in decent numbers and the ICE cowboys are routinely beaten at their own game of power and speed, their mentality will change. After all, bragging rights is the main purpose of owning such a beast. That, and the “old technology” stigma will effect change.

I agree that attitudes change but I think *consumer* pickup trucks will be at the tail end of the transition to BEVs. 2033 really isn’t *that* far away if one thinks in terms of 5-6 year model cycles.

Just imagine: some guy in a lifted Rivian yelling at Prius drivers for polluting the Earth.

I hope I live to see that happen! 🙂

The article is talking about the global market, not the US market.
Also, Rivian, Tesla and others will offer electric pick-up trucks, certainly by 2033 they will be competitive with ICE trucks.

I would move the year forward to 2028. Year 2033 would be more like closer to 90%, lets see 🙂

I agree. 2033 is too conservative. Growth from 2017 to 2018 will be almost 70%. 1.2m to about 2m. It will probably slow down as the numbers get bigger. But 50% market share by 2028 is quite possible.

Yes, with battery prices falling at a 20%, per year rate, and Tesla nearly at 100$ per kWh already…

Humans have difficulty conceiving exponential growth and how rapidly things can change once the correct factors are there. Thus the S-shape curves that have accompanied every technological breakthrough.

If batteries continue their 50%-price-decrease-in-5-years pattern, Moore’s law continues for microchips, AP capabilities advance, there is little reason by 2025 anyone would still be buying ICE-based cars.

Yes, difficult for us to conceive based on what we see directly in front of us today.

Well in Paris they spend $7.00 a gallon of gasoline 1.58 euro a liter. So I’m sure there’s a lot of people that wish EV’s would get built sooner.

And most of those in Paris, London, Berlin etc already drive small cars. They use far less fuel than the average ICE car in the USA.
That’s why the likes of the Zoe, Leaf and e-golf are so successful.
IF we are to get to 50% then the world needs more Zoe sized cars at affordable prices (even smaller for India)

For the amount of energy contained within a gallon of gas $7 is a bargain.

Not saying you’re wrong, but very few Americans are going to agree with that statement! 😛

Well 33.7 kWh of energy, of wich you can only use 25-30% is still much more expensive than electricity just about everywhere on earth.

Exactly …

DNV GL says also that in the main phase, we will see growth from less than 10% to more than 90% within 10 years. 10%-90% of what? They don’t say. one would presume percent of new car sales that are evs. In the main phase of growth of evs, and when does that begin. 5 years 7 years 8 years from now. Well it would have to be after 2023 since add 10 to 2023 gives 2033 and they say 50% by then, so when does main phase start, and what exactly does that mean? Does it mean the point from which most evs will be sold within a 10 year period, from 10-90%or what. Currently we are at less that 10% worldwide, around 3%, so then when we hit 9.9%, still under 10%, then that explosive growth begins, but then so are 8% 7%, and even our current 3%, so all of those numbers qualify to fill their statement, which is really no statement at all. The implication being that new car sales won’t be 10% evs until say 2030, then 10 years after that 2040, 90% of all new cars sold are evs, going from 50% in 2033… Read more »

“…and when does that begin. 5 years 7 years 8 years from now.”

Looks to me like it began this year: 2018. But I predict a 13-year transformation, rather than a 10-year one. It took ~13 years from New York City to go from a city almost entirely served by horse-drawn vehicles to one almost entirely served by motor vehicles. Of course, the EV revolution may take either a longer or a shorter time, but I question it will be as short as 10 years. Converting that many factories over to making EV parts and converting that many assembly plants over to assembling EVs, is going to take massive amounts of capital investment.

Some people argue that the EV revolution will take longer than the motorcar revolution because, they say, the EV is less of a revolutionary improvement over the gasmobile than the motorcar was over the horse. While the latter is true, it’s also true that the pace of change today is more rapid, and the new car market is extremely competitive, in a way that the carriage and buggy market never was.

Based on their perdition, I would estimate 10% in 2027, 90% in 2037.
But honestly, I believe (and hope) that in 2027 the global EV market share would be higher than 10%

50% by 2033? It will be by 2025. Even that is because it takes multiple years to build battery factories and new models. In major markets like China, Europe, US it may even reach 60-70% by 2025. Once the cheaper EVs ($15K) available, even countries like India will shift rapidly.

In 1-2 years (by 2020), people start delaying their ICE car purchases as they will be afraid of them becoming stranded assets. Another best thing will be each EV customer with own roof will install solar as well.

I think you’re being way too optimistic, especially with regard to the US auto market. But hey, kudos to you for dreaming big!

In Europe I agree, motorist wont want to be left with an expensive paperweight on their driveway that will be worth scrap value when they come to trade them in. They will want to offload them ASAP.

Who will the offload them too?

That’s a good question! It’s going to be interesting to watch when the time comes, you will go from having a part exchange car value to being left out of pocket. especially diesel engined cars, they’re already being treated like public enemy number one here in the UK and we’re nowhere near the 2040 combustion ban.
The government will surely have to come up with a clunker bill or the like.

Western Europe -> Eastern Europe -> Africa

“In 1-2 years (by 2020), people start delaying their ICE car purchases.” This is what most of these studies miss. Once EVs hit the mainstream, ICE demand will plummet faster then EV sales will increase. The total number of new car sales will then plateau/drop while EV supply catches up.

This drop in demand for ICE will increase EV’s market share of new car sales even without the additional supply.

I expect ICE manufacturers will start slashing prices once this happens, to ensure demand for their legacy products, but they won’t be able to for long. Maybe 6-18 months.

This would increase second hand prices due to limited supply. The effect, while real, will probably disappear in the rising tide of EV sales. The turning point will be right around EVs reach 50%. The curve will be at its steepest point with ICE factories closing at unbelievable speed. Schoolbook example of creative destruction

If this article is about electrifying America, that will happen rather quickly. It took 10 years to go from 15k to 200k gas stations, currently I think there may be 300k, but that number has fallen over the past few years, and will continue to do so, as more cars go electric, and people continue to drive less, thereby using less gas.

Tesla has shown the way with its supercharging network, and as others come along, Ionity, Charge Point, the judgement vs VW which has given us Electrify America, besides which for the people that live in homes they already have a charging place, the problem of a place to charge will fade.
It’s not as big a problem as many make it out to be, finding a place to charge, and will be even less so over the coming years.

It is not, it says global sales in a number of places on the article.

The article is about global EV sales.

We are already watching at the ICE plants being shuttered or being converted to produce electric cars. A sizeable amount of hybrid owners, plugin or not, that is users exposed to electrification are already ditching their cars for long range BEVs. On top high power charging infra is coming fast, along with the new high power charging BEVs. The disruption is coming from multiple directions, and it is getting hot, very hot on the new and used vehicle market.

I currently see 2025, max 2026, as the year when no one in the world will buy another ICE car. Is that too optimistic? It could seem so, but remember that the spreading of full self driving, also for public transport, and car sharing will make cars demand fall in all rich countries, and few years later in the others too. FSD will come, that’s for sure, and the rise of EVs sold in percentage, with the total market shrinking, will happen more quickly than we can currently forecast.

Few people who are used to owning their cars will want to share their vehicle with strangers.
FSD and car sharing will be mostly for the next generation who don’t see the benefit of owning but only the problems of it.

Well, I’m 19 years old, so I could be part of what do you call “next generation” 😜

While I’m used to drive my car and don’t share it, I totally imagine myself doing that if I’ll have a FSD car one day. Or, even better, not owning a car anymore and reserving one with the phone in every place I can be, when I need it. The first option appears very silly to me, so I’ll probably choose the second one.

Yes, you are of the new generation 😉

“I currently see 2025, max 2026, as the year when no one in the world will buy another ICE car. Is that too optimistic?”

Definitely. There will continue to be a niche market for gasmobiles. If I was to go on safari in Africa, I certainly would take a gasmobile. But more than that, there are many third-world regions where the electric grid isn’t reliable or widespread enough to be able to depend on being able to recharge a BEV every night. In such regions, gasmobiles or at best PHEVs will continue to be sold even after first-world countries have almost entirely shifted to BEVs.

“If I was to go on safari in Africa, I certainly would take a gasmobile”.

Electric grid may develop enough for national parks to allow electric offroad veichles to complete a trip there. Just install a few chargers every let’s say 100 chilometers/miles (not that much money needed, and solar with batteries could make it possible even without electric grid). There is a solution to everything if you think carefully.

And, even if what I wrote doesn’t happen, we are talking about new ICE sales, not use of already existing ones. No one will stop someone to drive one in the middle of the jungle or savannah. And really, who will make ICE trucks only for some tourists who run about across Africa?

And how do you get to those national parks? Have a look at how big and empty many of those countries are. It would be interesting seeing people doing a tour of Namibia in an electric car. I do agree, that park owned vehicles could well teansition to electric vehicles however, if there is an electricity grid and/or storage system at the right price for them. The issue with your 2025/6 target is that we have a good idea about what is coming out in 2022. They’ll be a $100k pickup, a few $50k+ SUVs and some sedans of a similar price, and a few models by VW at more affordable prices. That leaves 3 years for prices to tumble to $20k for the same vehicles, and models to be developed to replace the hundreds of ICE vehicles. As someone that is partly holding out on replacing an ICE vehicle because I’d like to replace it with an EV, I honestly don’t see there being an EV option that would suit me until at least that sort of time frame, and even then it’ll proabbbly by one, possibly two options, not the dozen ICE options I would have now. Prices… Read more »

“…solar with batteries could make it possible even without electric grid”

A home solar installation powerful enough to charge a BEV on a daily basis would be far more expensive than buying a used gasmobile and paying for gas to run it. We are, after all, talking about poor regions of the world. Not areas where money is no object. We’re talking about areas of the world where (as I saw on a recent news report) someone with a tiny home solar power system can get subsistence-level income from charging her neighbors’ cell phones.

“…who will make ICE trucks only for some tourists who run about across Africa?”

Land Rover, of course. Even if it’s reduced to a niche market, somebody is going to continue to make them.

But the primary market isn’t going to be tourists, it’s going to be people who live and work in such regions.

That’s way too optimistic.
EV production volume at the moment is 2 million cars per year (including PHEVs).
World auto sales are roughly 100 million cars a year.
It will take more than a decade to reach this production volume , mainly because of the battery capacity required.
2032-2033 seems to be an optimistic, but more realistic target.

With gas prices dipping below 2 dollars a gallon in some areas of the US. There’s no comparison in savings with any currently available EV.

And as EVs proliferate that will put downward pressure on gasoline prices so that will act as a bit of a negative feedback cycle on EV adoption. 45+ MPG Camry/Accord hybrids for <$27K (Sales price, not list price) are pretty hard to beat from a TCO perspective. That being said my wife and I are all in on BEVs with a model 3 + 2018 Leaf and find the convenience of home "fueling" and better driving experience well worth the premium we paid over just getting 2 hybrid sedans.

Which means that the only reason to get an ICE in the future is that you are either poor or oldfashioned. Cars are status symbols. Who will want to be seen with a symbol of poverty? People will pay far more for a car in the future than today. The market for cars below 40k will shrink dramatically, just like the market for phones under $100. EV’s will not need to beat ICEs on economy, only in convenience and status.

I remember well the first time I really encountered “the internet”, which must have been around the mid 1990’s. Coming away I said to my colleague “I can see that becoming quite important in years to come…..” to which I got a somewhat sceptical and negative reply….. The only surprise is just how important, and how rapid such change happened. Not overnight, not in a year, but 25 years isn’t really that long.

And the lesson is that often industries only see incremental change for quite a while, then something comes along, take off is slow at first until reaching a tipping point, then it’s only a few years before “it” has taken over. Mobile phones, then smart phones, anyone?

And I see that happening now with electric cars – the tipping point may already have been reached in America, and likely in Europe within the next year or two. If I had to make a bet, then around 2030 would be my guess for 50% sales – but the headline does say “globally”. Expect huge variation across the globe – America earlier than 2030, other countries much later, so maybe 2033 is good estimate for a worldwide figure.

You are very optimistic about USA (which you for some reason want to call America even though there are 35 countries in America). You are generally laggards and EVs will be no different… But you are also innovators and pioneers so for the first few procents you will keep up.

All 35 countries in The Americas have a name. There aren’t many people in the world that, when hearing the word “America”, think of any other country other than the USA. Like it or not, it is the ONLY country that contains the word “America” in it’s official name.

Someone once asked me why we citizens of the USA call ourselves “Americans”. Without hesitation I replied “Because U.S.-ian is a rather awkward term.” 🙂

In high school Spanish class, we were told that in Latin America (can we still say that or is it now non-PC?), they resent us U.S.ians having appropriated the name “American”, and we should describe ourselves (in Spanish) as “a citizen of the United States of the North”. Well, that’s even more awkward! I think I’d just call myself a “gringo” when south of the border. Seriously; that term may be intended as insulting, but I don’t have to accept it that way.

I note that the “D.C.” in Washington, D.C. stands for District of Columbia… not District of America. Perhaps we should call ourselves Columbians!

Oh, wait… 😉

“The only surprise is just how important, and how rapid such change happened. Not overnight, not in a year, but 25 years isn’t really that long.”

I’ve seen it said that major technological changes take longer than we expect, but produce changes to culture more profound than we anticipate.

I’m pretty sure the EV revolution is and will continue to follow that trend. What will the world look like when Big Oil is no longer a major political influence in most countries? (Hopefully, a less polluting one!)

If this is correct: “DNV GL says also that in the main phase, we will see growth from less than 10% to more than 90% within 10 years”, then it will be less than 15 years to the 50% market share point, because world market share of EVs will reach 10% in five years, maybe four.

I’ll file this under Tony Seba’s question:

“Why do smart people at smart companies fail to anticipate, let alone lead, market disruption? ”

Seba was saying 100% by 2030 and more recently has upped the ante to 100% by 2025. Even his original projection is way more optimistic than everybody else!

possible by 2030. 2025 is a little crazy. that’s just over 6 years, not going to happen that fast

It literally can’t happen that fast, there just isn’t the production capacity for building 90 million EVs and batteries, even if 100% of customers would want an EV.

You would have auto makers decide today that they want to go 100% electric by 2025 to even have a chance to get close. VW is aiming for 25% by 2025 and they appear to be the most dedicated traditional car company so far (at least if we believe their announcements). Others may hit 10-15% by 2025.

You fail to take into account a single self driving car can easily replace 3 conventional ICE cars. That 90 million then drops to 30 million.

Then there’s the fact demand for ICE will drop faster than EV supply will ramp up.

Either way 100% is a bold claim. Personally I can see 80-90% by 2026.

Right. There are practical restraints on growth that rapid, especially in a capital-intense heavy industry like mass production of automobiles. Not gonna happen that fast, not because there won’t be enough demand, but because there is a limit to how fast auto makers can raise capital, build new factories and convert old ones, and retrain workers or train new ones. 100% or even 90% BEV by 2025 is almost certainly impossible due to practical constraints. I’d say, give it 13-15 years to 90% for first-world countries, and probably 25+ years for 90% worldwide.

If you reason only with current data and variables, assuming that car sales around the world will remain stable or even increase (it’s already happening the opposite in most advanced countries) then, yes, Tony Seba’s prediction is impossible. But I know car sales will decrease, for many factors, and I believe his prediction is totally manageable.

I hope this comes true, but I doubt it.

Norway is already at 60%

60% is including PHEV. BEVs are 41% if I remember correctly.
And Norway is way less than 1% of the global car sales.

If self driving becomes a reality in the 2020s, I could see that there is not much of a car marked left in 2033. And predicting things 15 years in the future is almost futile. It’s like saying in 2003: “in 2018 50% of new TVs will be HD and 50% of new handheld phones will be smartphones…”.

Ride sharing services will reduce the total number of cars sold in the same way that Air BnB has reduced the total number of hotels.

That is to say… it won’t.

This is something people seem to gloss over. Price is not the reason people do t just Uber everywhere now. For many people living in cities it would certainly be cheaper. It’s the convenience factor that’s the issue. How much stuff do you have in your car? Would you be happy removing every time you used it? For families especially – all those car seats and kids things that are currently permanently in a car used several times a day. In, our, in, out, multiple times a day would get boring fast, especially if you had to carry them around with you all day when you’re going out. Then there’s the “specialist” vehicles. Having to order a vehicie that can handle your bikes, or your kayaks, or your truck camper/quad/skidoo/boat. For those that literally ONLY use their vehicle to travel to and from work then sure, it would work. Arguably though it would make more sense to have more public transport available for them instead. Automation will reduce the number of cars a bit, but it’s not going to be huge. I wouldn’t hire an automated car, I’d have my own automated car available at all times, that could drive… Read more »

You are missing an important fact: While the number of cars sold may decrease in Europe, Japan, maybe even the US, there will be hundreds of millions of people in China, India, South East Asia, etc, that will increase their income to the level where they could finally afford to buy a car.
The car market in those regions is growing quite rapidly, while in the US and Europe its stagnating, or slowly shrinking.

I think it was Bill Gates that said people have a habit of overestimating the rate of change in 2 years and underestimating the rate of change in 10 years.

That’s a good quote. The former is probably ver pertinent to many commenters on this website, the latter to many commenters on other non EV websites.

15 years from now, only 50% of new cars worldwide will be EVs?

Well, I certainly hope that’s low-balling the actual amount! I hope that in first-world countries, 15 years from now that will be 90% or more. No doubt the number will be rather lower in third-world countries where the electric grid is either sparse or unreliable.

I think there’s going to be a sales dip soon as consumers start delaying their purchase decisions to see what EVs are coming up. Their current vehicle will tide them over until the right vehicle comes along. The number of people holding out for an EV is going to increase rapidly. The selection of models will develop more slowly just because of the capital expenditure needed to produce a new EV.

So ICE companies are soon going to be building cars that no one wants to buy. That’s already happening with sedans, it’s only going to get worse.

I’m not saying I know how long it will take. After all, if you had asked me back in 2011, I would have forecast we’d already be at 50% market share by now. But here we are in 2018 sitting it around 2%. What I CAN tell you, however, is that I think once we make it to 10% market share, the transition to 90% will be much faster than it took to get to 10% in the first place. Of course, that is consistent with the S-curve paradigm. When we are at 10%, that means pretty much every person will know at least 1 or 2 people that drive an EV already, which will help get the word around and dispel some of the myths and FUD. The charging station infrastructure will also be much better too, as will the selection of body-styles.

Not with the 1 hour fast charging of present. Once fast charging improves and cuts down wait time by at least 30 or 40 percent, then we can hope for 2033.