The world is on course to reach annual electric vehicles sales of 31.1 million by 2030, 10 million more than previously forecast, due to changing consumer sentiment and dissipating adoption barriers, according to new analysis by Deloitte.
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The consultancy said July 28 that this meant that one in three new cars sold by 2030 would be EVs, bringing the total market share up to 32%.
It added that, in spite of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it still expected total global EV sales to reach 2.5 million in 2020 and, based on a compound annual growth rate of 29%, Deloitte estimated that the volume would grow to above 11.2 million in 2025 and 31.1 million by 2030.
"At this milestone, fully electric vehicles will account for 81% of all new EVs sold according to the research, outperforming their plug-in hybrid peers," it said.
Deloitte added that EV growth was being driven by a favorable regulatory environment, such as financial incentives and emission targets, as well as the development of a wide range of new EV models.
It added that a shift to EVs at a corporate level would also further the global transition to electric, as company cars and fleets continued to represent the majority of all new car sales.
Deloitte head of EVs Jamie Hamilton said the price premium of many EVs had restricted some early adopters, but the cost of EVs was converging with petrol and diesel equivalents, increasing the pool of prospective buyers.
"A wider range of new electric vehicles, combined with a growing second-hand market, means EVs are becoming a more viable option for many. However, overcoming consumer concerns around driving range and perceived lack of charging infrastructure will be important factors as more drivers consider the practicalities of switching to electric," he said.
Hamilton added that EVs had shown resilience during the coronavirus pandemic, while overall car sales had fallen.
"Consequently, the outbreak of COVID-19 means we have likely seen petrol and diesel vehicles reach their sales peak, albeit relatively unnoticed. With total annual car sales unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, even if sales growth in the petrol and diesel market returns, it is likely to experience a decline in market share thereafter," he said.
Looking at the UK specifically, Deloitte's analysis found that 50% of UK consumers would consider an EV as their next vehicle purchase, with favorable government policies and greater consumer awareness on climate change boosting EV growth to date.
"With ambitions to meet wider net zero emissions by 2050, and a proposed ban on the sale of polluting vehicles brought forward to 2035, the stage is set for further adoption," it said.
However, 33% of UK customers said that a lack of charging infrastructure remained their greatest concern, with Hamilton noting that "continued investment in charging facilities and overcoming consumer concerns around their availability and accessibility could see the UK surpass the 32% global EV market share by 2030, reaching as much as 65% of the domestic market in the same period."
Electricity distribution network operator Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks called earlier in July for the UK government to make access to electric vehicle charging points universal by 2025, empowering individuals to switch to EVs.