“More than 37 million plug-in electric vehicles are expected to be in use in 2025,” Navigant Research reported this week. By then, we can expect EVs “to be cost competitive against conventional vehicles without subsides,” making it likely that light-duty vehicles “will eventually be electric rather than any other alternative.”
The key questions as we look ahead to the future of EVs are: Will President-elect Donald Trump — whose cabinet is so pro-oil that the Secretary of State nominee is the former CEO of ExxonMobil — continue pro-EV policies that would prove fatal to the oil industry? Or will China and Europe become the leaders in one of the fastest-growing job-creating industries?
Modern EVs have key advantages over traditional vehicles, like faster acceleration, lower maintenance costs, and no tail-pipe emissions. And they are the only alternative fuel car with a much lower per-mile fueling cost than petrol cars — even when running on carbon-free fuel. The sticking points have been the high initial cost and the short range, due to expensive and bulky batteries.
Now, driven by smart government policies — including a big bet by President Obama’s Department of Energy (DOE) on a once-obscure Silicon Valley start up named Tesla — rapid drops in battery cost have brought us to the start of the revolution, as this Bloomberg New Energy Finance BNEF chart shows:
The result, as the lead author of a GTM Research report on EVs explained, is that “a price and energy cost analysis of conventional, hybrid, and electric vehicles illustrates that the EV has the lowest lifetime cost, even in a low-oil-price environment.”