Forecasts of how many electric vehicles (EVs) will be joining the global fleet are all moving in the same direction — up.
Exxon Mobil Corp. raised its 2040 forecast to 100 million EVs from 64.8 million the previous year. Last year BP predicted 71.4 million by 2035, and now it sees 100 million. The International Energy Agency more than doubled its base-case EV forecast for 2030.
OPEC outdid them all. In 2016, the group predicted 266 million EVs in 2040, almost six times the year-earlier estimate of 46 million.
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Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which compared the forecast changes in a report Friday, predicts that by 2040 EVs will account for 530 million out of the world’s 1.63 billion vehicles, or 33 percent. That was a step up from 2016, when BNEF predicted 405.8 million EVs by 2040. Read more key findings from our EV Outlook and download the executive summary.
Improved batteries are driving more customers to buy EVs. The price of lithium-ion battery packs, which was $1,000 per kilowatt-hour in 2010, has dropped below $300. BNEF forecasts pack-level prices will be under $100 by 2026 and cell-only costs will drop below this level in the early 2020s.
“There are a lot of things that could accelerate the forecasts,” said Nick Albanese, a BNEF transportation analyst who co-wrote the report with Colin McKerracher. BNEF’s forecast assumes only incremental increases in battery energy density, but there is also the possibility of more dramatic improvements. The ability to pack more power into a battery will increase ranges and encourage more adoption of EVs, Albanese said. Read more about BNEF’s analysis on lithium-ion battery costs.