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  • Report: Coordination of stakeholders will guide eMobility to mainstream

  • There is strong growth in electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and the scales are tipped strongly toward Level 2 AC installations due to costs and compatibility.
  • The electric vehicle user experience is not to drive to fuel, but to fuel where you park, and consumers are unfamiliar with this fact.
  • Today’s biggest challenge to the buildout of a complete EV charging infrastructure is coordination of stakeholders.

Webinar: How stakeholder coordination impacts mass EV adoption

Eaton and IHS Markit discuss key findings in the report, exploring consumer perceptions and non-technical challenges that impact mass EV adoption.

Executive summary

Historically, the development of the electric vehicle has been distilled down to the age-old “chicken or egg” paradox. Will the sale of EVs (electric vehicles) drive the development of eMobility infrastructure, or will the network of charging stations drive EVs volumes? The early adopters have already adopted, and now the automotive industry is investing billions to scale EVs into mass market pricing, appeal, product requirements and usability.

When peering into the challenges of the charging infrastructure, the issues were formerly technical in nature. Does the grid (macro and micro) have the power necessary to support charging stations? Is the connector compatible with the various types of EVs on the road? How reliable are the charging stations? How do I manage and optimize the network of stations on the backend?

These challenges have – for the most part – been met with improvements in both hardware and software. Yet, the industry still has issues with scaling EV sales to the mass market. IHS Markit calculates approximately 1.2 percent of vehicle sales in the US in 2017 had a plug-in, 48 percent of which were full BEVs (battery electric vehicles). By the end of 2024, nearly 10 percent of vehicles sold in the US will have a plug-in, and by then 72 percent of those will be a full BEV.

of U.S. vehicle sales will be EVs by 2024
of China vehicle sales will be EVs by 2024
of Europe vehicle sales will be EVs by 2024

Growth in EVs is even stronger in Europe and China than in the US. Among the EU28, EV sales will reach more than 20 percent of overall sales by 2024, according to IHS Markit forecasts, with 64 percent 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 percent in 2024, and 70 percent 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 percent of vehicle sales is by no measure mass market adoption.

The truth is the industry still must 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 while experts know 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.

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.”

Beyond the consumer barriers, the eMobility infrastructure build out has more regulatory and utility-oriented challenges than one would imagine. Experts IHS Markit spoke to repeatedly cited the challenges in simply organizing the local authorities to work with utility commissions and oversight bodies to open sites for infrastructure development. So much is tied up in outdated frameworks andu policy, that deployment can be slow, regardless of the demand presented. This can vary quite widely across regions. For example, in Europe, there is little regulation on small EVSE installations, but larger installations are more challenging to coordinate. Ultimately, the eMobility infrastructure challenges are global in nature, but local in execution, presenting a fragmented approach for any one company or association to help drive expansion.

Infrastructure and EV adoption

Most major automotive markets have come a long way since the introduction of mass-produced EVs. With the arrival of disruptors like Tesla, and the shift toward electrification at industry stalwarts like General Motors and Volkswagen, the representative investments and deployments of adequate charging infrastructure have been underway.

IHS Markit forecasts significant growth in EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) deployments over the next 5 years in these major markets. The APAC region, lead primarily by China, will grow from a cumulative 2.4 million charging stations in 2019 to 31.3 million by 2025. EMEA, which leads today, will grow from a stock of 3.4 million charging stations to 27.4 million by 2025. The Americas, led by the US, but including Canada and Latin America, will grow from 1.5 million cumulative stations in 2019 up to 8.2 million stations by 2025, a respectively low number given the region’s geographical size.

All three major regions will see strong CAGRs (compound annual growth rates) ranging from 33 percent to more than 50 percent between 2019 and 2025. This growth is predominantly in service of the commensurate growth in EV sales as well as federal and regional incentives to build out EVSE networks and equipment.

EVSE installations

The growth in EVSE installations is only a small part of the story. Much of the consumer objection on charging availability is caused by the fact that the large majority of total EVSE is installed in domestic locations, outside of the access or purview of the general public.

In addition, there is another clear trend that emerges. IHS Markit estimates that in 2019, roughly 75 percent of the cumulative public, semi-public or commercial charging stations globally will be AC variants, predominately AC Level 2 variants. The other 25 percent will be DC charging options, which provide a significantly faster charge for those vehicles that can handle it. By 2025, though, the AC volume will represent nearly 94 percent of the installed base globally.

IHS Markit_eMobility Updated Graphics_R7

"Improvements in charging networks and availability will be as important to the mass market adoption of EVs as the vehicles’ battery range, charging speed and TCO will be."

Interviewee, on key factors impacting mass EV adoption

Discover more in this report including: 

  • Consumer perspectives 
  • Special insert - Plug-in sales insights and TCO
  • Regulatory challenges and the grid 
  • Impact to the grid 
  • Industry perspectives
  • Conclusions and future outlook

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