A dramatic shift is underway in the global automotive market. Electric vehicles (EVs), once viewed as toys, are gaining momentum.

There are now more than 4 million electric vehicles on the road globally, up from only 100,000 a few years ago, and 2018 EV sales alone are on track to exceed 1.6 million.* Electric vehicles’ share of the total vehicle stock – roughly 1 billion vehicles – is still small, but some markets have leapt ahead on EV adoption, and virtually every global automaker is dramatically increasing their investments in electric drivetrains.

At BloombergNEF, we tallied up more than $140 billion that automakers are investing in EVs over the next five years alone.

Several forces are driving this trend. Falling lithium-ion battery prices are a big part of the shift. When we started tracking EV batteries back in 2010, prices were around $1000/kWh. Fast forward to 2017 and our survey showed average prices of around $200/kwh at the pack level (cell-only costs are already much lower).

BNEF lithium-ion battery price survey results, 2010–17

 

more

 

SOURCE: Lowy Institute “The Interpreter”