Surging interest in electric vehicles sees forecasts increased as autonomous hype subsides, says GlobalData

The latest set of automotive component and production forecasts reveal a clear increase in the number of electric vehicles (EVs) expected to be built over the next few years, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. This comes in response to the increased news coverage of EVs, the growing variety of models being sold, and tightening emissions regulations incentivizing the production of electrified models, particularly in Europe.

The automotive industry is in a transformative phase, driven by ‘CASE’ megatrends – connected cars, autonomous vehicles, shared mobility services and electrification. As these trends emerged, automakers were obliged to spread their spending across all four sectors. However, as it becomes clear that autonomous vehicles will take longer to emerge than previously thought, automakers are prioritising electric vehicles because they offer a clearer return on investment.

Mike Vousden, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, says: “EV technologies are here now and ready to be fitted to new models rolling off production lines, while self-driving cars still feel like science fiction. As the switch to electric powertrains gathers pace, we are adjusting our forecasts to account for this more rapid rollout.”

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IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION: EV penetration rate – 2019 forecast vs 2020 forecast

GlobalData’s previous forecasts expected EVs to account for 4.4% of all light vehicles built within four years, rising to 4.9% one year later. Revised figures from GlobalData’s latest 2020 forecasts now expect EVs to hit 6.7% of production in four years, before jumping to 7.8% one year later.

The gap continues when you look at the ten-year forecast. Previous estimates predicted EVs would account for 9.8% of light vehicle production over that period. That figure now stands at 11.7% in light of increased interest in EVs.

As the market matures, the difference between the two forecasts evens out again with both predicting EVs to account for around 16% of the market in 15 years’ time. This reflects the fact that electromobility is likely to come to developed nations first, with combustion power remaining the dominant force in developing nations for the foreseeable future.

Vousden continued: “We’re not only seeing anecdotal reports of growing interest in EVs, we can directly track the rapid growth in interest by the number of news stories released covering the topic. As EVs gain traction in the market, more and more commentators and businesses are talking about them.”

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IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION: Number of EV articles tracked by GlobalData – April 2019 to January 2020

“GlobalData’s news-tracking service identified a significant increase in the number of news articles related to EVs over the course of 2019. In fact, over a ten-month period from April 2019 to January 2020, we observed a compound monthly growth rate of 11.89% – jumping from 111 monthly articles at the start of 2019 to 305 articles by January 2020.”

“It comes as no surprise that, as industry interest in EVs reaches new heights, more companies are going public with their plans and products for the sector – whether that’s new electrified models, new components for those models, or covering the infrastructure needed to power them. Auto companies – especially those with big bets on autonomous technology – will need to ensure they are spending money in the right places to benefit from the arrival of EVs in the mainstream.”

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