Growth in EVs is even stronger in Europe and China than in the US. Among the EU28, EV sales will reach more than 20 per cent of overall sales by 2024, according to IHS Markit forecasts, with 64 per cent of those being BEVs. As a point of reference, in Europe in 2020, registration of plug-in electric vehicles jumped nearly 211% year on year (y/y) in the third quarter, to nearly 274,000 units. In China, the world’s largest automotive sales market, EV sales will reach 17 per cent in 2024, and 70 per cent of those will be full BEVs. In mainland China, sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs), were up 3.9% year on year to 1.1 million units during the January to November 2020 period.
This shift in the overall sales of electrified vehicles, as well as the segment shift toward full BEVs in these major global markets, illustrates the progress the industry has made on improving both “the chicken” and “the egg.” However, 10 to 20 per cent of vehicle sales is by no measure mass-market adoption.
The truth is that the industry must still overcome some serious consumer barriers to adoption. According to IHS Markit consumer research in 2019, three of the top five reasons why people chose not to buy an EV are charging-related issues. This includes anything from charging times to station availability and range. These barriers remain, even though experts know that the current public infrastructure has more than enough capacity to keep these vehicles charged and that range anxiety is overblown as most commuters do not come close to tapping out their battery range on a daily basis.