Market Penetration Scenarios of Electric Drive Vehicles

Market Penetration Scenarios of Electric Drive Vehicles


F Nemry, M Brons, Joint Research Centre of European Commission, ES


The paper presents a model-based analysis of market penetration of electric-drive vehicles and resulting changes in energy use and CO2 emissions for four scenarios, based on differences in battery performance and access to charging infrastructure.


Electric-drive vehicles (EDVs) are currently emerging in the market for personal cars and are viewed as a promising option towards road transport that is less carbon intensive, less polluting and less oil dependent. For these reasons, world governments are pledging billions to fund development of electric vehicles and their components. EDVs are characterized by having a battery-powered electric motor for propulsion and a plug to connect to the electrical grid in order to recharge the battery. Examples are battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). The adoption and diffusion of EDVs does not only depend on the demand for such vehicles but is also subject to supply side restrictions. To some extent, as for many emerging technologies, there is a chicken-egg problem in the sense that supply side restrictions limit demand, while limited demand slows down the deployment of supply infrastructure. In the case of EDVs, supply side bottlenecks concern inter alia battery performance and cost, and the level of access to charging infrastructure.
This paper aims to provide a prospective analysis of the adoption and diffusion of BEVs and PHEVs within the EU in relation with battery performance and cost and access to charging infrastructure. We adopt a model-based approach in which we develop scenarios for the future market for electric cars, based on projections of battery performance and costs and access to charging infrastructure. Next, based on a nested logit choice module we provide indicative estimations of the market penetration of BEVs and PHEVs. The analysis results enable (i) to assess the future market penetration of electric vehicles and the resulting impacts on energy consumption and CO2 emissions at the EU level and (ii) to identify the impact of key factors determining electromobility, i.e. battery costs and performance and access to grid for recharging. As such, the model offers the possibility to assess the effects of policy on infrastructure investment and incentives to car consumers.
The following conclusions can be drawn from the analysis. First, deployment of BEVs is expected to remain limited at least until 2020. The access to charging infrastructures at home, work, and in urban public places forms the main barrier to a large scale market development of electric cars. This holds both in the short and longer term. For PHEVs, more rapid market penetration can be expected as soon as they are widely commercialised (around 2020). A voluntarist development of standards on charging technology and charging infrastructure would contribute to achieve a substantial market penetration of both BEVs and PHEVs by 2030. Second, due to the costs of battery, upfront costs are much higher for EDVs than for conventional cars. The attractiveness of EDVs could be improved by spreading these costs over the lifetime of the car via the different business models currently envisaged, but, currently, from a lifetime perspective they are still be more expensive than their conventional counterparts. Progress in battery performance and costs is possible and would largely improve both costs and autonomy range. This forms the second key driver for the future success of the market for plug-in EDVs in general, and BEVs in particular. The full benefits of such progress on batteries would be manifest the most if combined with rapid deployment of charging infrastructure. Third, at the EU level, the impact of EDVs on fuel and electricity consumption by road passenger transport will be negligible until 2020. By 2030 fuel savings could be in a range of 10 to 20 percent compared with a reference scenario where electromobility does not develop. Electricity demand from road transport would then be between 1 and 4 percent of the projected total EU electricity consumption by 2030).


Association for European Transport