The Electric Vehicle Outlook is BloombergNEF’s annual long-term publication looking at how electrification, shared mobility and autonomous driving will impact road transport from now out to 2050. It covers light-duty passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, buses, and two/three-wheeled vehicles. The report draws on our team of specialists around the world and looks at scenarios for how these trends will impact the automotive, energy, infrastructure and battery materials markets over the coming decades.

The picture today

EV sales

EV sales are surging due to a combination of policy support, improvements in battery technology and cost, more charging infrastructure being built, and new compelling models from automakers. Electrification is also spreading to new segments of road transport, setting the stage for huge changes ahead.

All figures 2020

Reaching net zero by 2050

Road transport is one of the largest contributors to global CO2 emissions. Despite the expected rapid rise in EV sales, most countries are still not on track to bring road transport emissions to zero by mid-century.

Our new Net Zero Scenario looks at what is needed to reach ‘net-zero’ emissions in road transport by 2050. In this scenario, 100% of the world’s road fleet runs on electricity or hydrogen by that year. As soon as 2030, nearly 60% of new car sales must be zero emissions, to stay on track for the Net Zero Scenario.

Share of zero-emission vehicle sales by segment: Economic Transition Scenario and Net Zero Scenarios

Source: BNEF. Note: ‘LCVs, MCVs and HCVs are light-, medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles.’

In our Economic Transition Scenario, EV adoption is primarily driven by techno-economic trends and market forces, with no new policy measures introduced to support their growth. This scenario also sees an EV-dominated fleet by 2050, but 39% of passenger vehicles still burn fuels.

This picture varies by segment. Municipal buses, two-wheelers and three-wheelers are almost on track to get to zero emissions by 2050, even in the Economic Transition Scenario. Passenger cars and light commercial vehicles are on a positive trajectory, but will still need more policy support. But urgent action is needed on heavy vehicles in all countries.

The last internal combustion vehicles need to roll off the line around 2035, and even that will require some early retirements of older vehicles in the 2040s.

Batteries keep getting better. Average battery energy density is rising at 7% per year and new chemistries are hitting the market faster than ever. Maximum EV charging speeds are also rising.

Falling lithium-ion battery prices

Lithium-ion battery pack prices fell 89% from 2010 to 2020, with the volume-weighted average hitting $137/kWh. Underlying material prices will play a larger role in the future, but the introduction of new chemistries, new manufacturing techniques and simplified pack designs keeps prices falling.

Rising policy pressure

Number of countries that have announced plans to phase out sales of internal combustion vehicles.





Implications for energy and emissions

Oil demand

EVs of all types are already displacing well over 1 million barrels of oil demand per day. Oil demand has already peaked in all segments of road transport except commercial trucks. Oil demand from road transport overall peaks in 2027 in our Economic Transition Scenario and then declines steadily from there. In our Net Zero Scenario, oil use in road transport is fully eliminated by 2050.

Electricity demand

All those EVs add electricity demand, but not as much as you might think. In our Economic Transition Scenario, EVs of all types add 5,000TWh of electricity demand by 2050. In the Net Zero Scenario, demand reached 8,500TWh globally by 2050. Almost fully electrifying all of road transport adds just 25% to global electricity demand in 2050. In many advanced economies, EVs prevent overall electricity demand from falling.

BNEF Clients

BNEF clients can access the full report, its breakdown by technology and region, as well as the underlying Excel data and previous editions.

Read the full report

Colin McKerracher
Lead author

Aleksandra O’Donovan
Electric vehicles

Nick Albanese
Shared mobility

Dr. Nikolas Soulopoulos
Commercial vehicles and freight

David Doherty
Oil impacts

Milo Boers

Ryan Fisher
Charging infrastructure

Corey Cantor
Electric vehicles

Dr. James Frith

Siyi Mi

Andrew Grant
Shared mobility

Jinghong Lyu
Vehicle demand

Dr. Kwasi Ampofo
Metals and mining

Allen Tom Abraham
Two and three wheelers

Additional authors:
Alejandro Zamorano-Cadavid, Nannan Kou, Will Edmonds, Josh Landess, Komal Kareer, Takehiro Kawahara, Ali Izadi

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