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S&P Global — 10 July 2024

Daily Update: July 10, 2024

Overcoming the Barriers to EV Adoption

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By Nathan Hunt

Start every business day with our analyses of the most pressing developments affecting markets today, alongside a curated selection of our latest and most important insights on the global economy

When you first drive a battery-electric vehicle, it can be challenging to overcome the sense that the car is off. Internal combustion engines provide a variety of sensory clues that the car is operational, such as the growl and vibration of the engine and the faint smell of exhaust. Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), by contrast, lack that physicality. Some electric vehicles attempt to compensate for this absence of sensory input by providing fake engine noises. The field of psychophysics, which studies our sensory interaction with materials, has a lot to say about consumer resistance to EVs. 

When discussing that resistance, consumers rarely mention missing the vibrations of an internal combustion engine. Instead, the three most cited barriers to EV adoption are cost, infrastructure and range anxiety. Bryan Birsic, CEO of Motor, a company that helps drivers discover, switch to and stick with EVs, recently joined S&P Global’s “Energy Evolution” podcast to talk about overcoming the barriers to EV adoption.

While great strides have been made in reducing the costs of EVs, particularly in China, there remains a higher initial price for BEVs compared with conventional cars. Birsic pointed out that this higher up-front cost may be somewhat misleading since it doesn’t account for the cheaper cost of electricity versus gasoline, or the lower maintenance and repair costs for BEVs. As EV adoption expands beyond a core market of committed consumers, price grows in importance. 

On the podcast, Birsic expanded on this point: “We’re at a crossing the chasm moment. … We’re getting to people who are normal Americans, where the economics really talk and the used-car value talks. I think that the movement by [original equipment manufacturers] to get cheap autos out is a big deal and very positive.”

Infrastructure is another area of concern. While charging networks continue to expand, a lack of standardization for charging infrastructure has held back the industry. Birsic is enthusiastic about the increased adoption of the North American Charging Standard by different carmakers. This standard, already in use at Tesla charging stations, has been competing with the combined charging system and CHAdeMO standards.

Finally, there is the challenge of range anxiety. Birsic pointed out that consumers tend to have a limited understanding of how far they are driving every day. For most drivers, a 200-400 mile range on a full charge for a BEV is going to more than cover their daily needs. For longer trips, Motor and companies like Google provide maps that account for charging needs.

Today is Wednesday, July 10, 2024, and here is today’s essential intelligence. 

Sustaining Tomorrow: Rising Competition And Sustainability Trends In Asian Chemicals

This report, published to coincide with the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC), explores the South Korean market and the competition it faces, India's role as a key buyer in the polymer market, the outlook for low-carbon methanol in Asia and developments in the recycled polymers markets.

—Read the article from S&P Global Commodity Insights

Global PMI Upturn Cools From One Year High As Outlook Darkens

Global economic growth slowed in June but remained the second-strongest seen for just over a year, according to PMI data, pointing to a further robust expansion in the second quarter of 2024 after the slowdown seen in late 2023. June saw a further slight acceleration of growth in the US, bucking a broader developed world slowdown, while India continued to lead the emerging markets by a wide margin.

—Read the article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Hong Kong Retail Property: Survival Of The Fittest

Difficult times call for difficult measures. Even as retail sales are falling in Hong Kong, the city's major landlords will spend more to attract footfall. S&P Global Ratings thinks the investments will be manageable for rated landlords and should pay off. Revamps are needed because the profile of shoppers is changing. Hong Kong is still not drawing the level of mainland Chinese visitors it did prior to the pandemic. Given the pie is not growing, major landlords need to attract footfall from rival shopping areas and online retail.

—Read the article from S&P Global Ratings

Global Trade Conditions Deteriorate Marginally In June

The worldwide Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) surveys compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence indicated that global trade deteriorated in June for the first time in three months, albeit only marginally. The seasonally adjusted Global PMI New Export Orders Index, sponsored by JPMorgan and compiled by S&P Global, posted 49.6 in June, down from 50.6 in May. Falling past the 50.0 no-change mark, the latest reading signalled the first deterioration in trade conditions since March.

—Read the article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

New Reformist Iran President Aims To Eliminate Crude Discount, End Sanctions 'Disaster'

Reformist politician, Masoud Pezeshkian, won Iran’s presidential runoff July 6, opening the prospect for the OPEC member to supply more crude to the market and energize its aging oil and gas infrastructure. Pezeshkian, a former health minister (2001-2005), built his campaign on a platform of reviving the country’s stalled nuclear deal with the West that curbs Tehran’s expansive atomic activities as well as removing international sanctions. "We need foreign opening. Economic development … is not possible without interactive foreign policy and detent," said Pezeshkian in a campaign statement.

—Read the article from S&P Global Commodity Insights

Listen: So You Want To Buy An EV: Moving Past Adoption Barriers

Electric vehicles are growing in popularity in the US, but purchasing one can come with a host of hurdles to navigate, from tax credits to charger availability. In this episode of Energy Evolution, correspondent Camellia Moors interviews Bryan Birsic, CEO of Motor, about the challenges faced by EV drivers and headwinds to wider EV adoption. Backed by The AES Corp. and Mitsubishi Corp., Motor provides services designed to help drivers discover, switch to and stick with EVs.

—Listen and subscribe to the podcast from S&P Global Commodity Insights

Beyond ESG With Mid-Year Economic Outlooks (July 17, 2024)

As we look towards the second half of 2024, we invite you to join us on Wednesday, July 17 as we look back — and forward — at the key sustainability trends impacting mid-year economic outlooks.

—Register for the webinar from S&P Global Sustainable1