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What's Behind The Global EV Sales Slowdown?

EV Sales Slowdown

An economic slowdown in many parts of the world and the phase-out of EV subsidies in the United States have led to lower EV sales this year, a survey by the Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy has shown.

The survey looked into more than a dozen EV penetration forecasts and found that two-thirds of these feature lower EV sales projections both for the short and the long term, author Marianne Kah noted. What’s more, the forecasts were less optimistic about battery cost declines, too.

Battery costs are one of the keys to mainstream EV adoption, so EV penetration forecasts prioritize the issue, forecasting when said costs will fall to $100 per kWh from the current average of $175-200 per kWh, that will make EVs directly competitive to ICE vehicles without government subsidies.

While in the 2018 survey by Columbia’s CGEP some forecasts expected the $100/kWh mark to be reached sometime between 2020 and 2022, this year’s survey revealed that the most optimistic forecast projects this to happen in 2023 at the earliest.

Another difference Kah noted between 2018 and 2019 EV forecasts concerned the percentage range that forecasters gave for EVs as a portion of the global fleet in the long term. In 2018, the survey author said, projections about EVs as a percentage of total cars ranged between 15 and 60 percent. In 2019, this range widened to between 10 and 70 percent, which makes the future of EVs even less certain.

The results of the survey are not particularly encouraging. Even less encouraging is the forecast that oil demand for passenger vehicles may continue to rise over the next five years. Then again, some forecasts see it plateauing in the period before beginning to decline after 2025. Related: Is Silver About To Break Out?

Yet, Kah noted, even if oil demand for motor fuel declines after 2025, this does not mean that total oil demand will decline “because of the growth expected in sectors that are more challenging to electrify or find substitutes (e.g., truck, air, marine, petrochemicals).”

After 2030, however, oil demand will likely begin to decline steadily, especially if all the climate change-related political talk from today turns into actual legislation.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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