The Future of Electromobility – IEA’s Global EV Outlook 2022

The IEA (International Energy Agency), based in Paris, was established in response to the oil crisis. IEA was initially supposed to assist in overcoming future oil shortages. Now, it also serves as a reputable source for current statistics and figures on the entire range of the energy sector, including the future of electromobility.  
 
The year 2021 has been, yet again, a record year for global EV sales. Sales of EVs doubled in 2021 from 2020 to 6.6 million. A strong 1st quarter of 2022 followed with over 2 million units sold (+75% compared to 2020).
 

KEY DATA 

⚡ Worldwide, more EVs were sold weekly in 2021 than in the whole year of 2012: 120,000. 
⚡ Almost 10% of all global car sales were electric in 2021.
⚡ 16.5 million EVs were on the roads in 2021, three times as many as in 2018.
⚡ In the first months of 2022, EV sales were up 75% compared to the same period in 2021.
⚡ China is still the biggest EV market, followed by Europe and the USA. 

MORE MODELS, INCREASED DRIVING RANGE, NEW TRENDS

In 2021, about 450 different EV models were available worldwide, and there is much more to come.
 
Currently, five times more new models are available to customers than in 2015. The demand for SUVs is growing strongly; this category already accounts for half of the EV models available.
 
Prices for EVs dropped while the average driving range increased. This has resulted in a 10% decrease in the sales-weighted average price-per-range ratio compared to the previous year. 

FORECASTS FOR THE CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE

According to IEA’s Announced Pledges Scenario (see more info below), the global market value of electricity for EV charging will grow over 20-fold, reaching about $190 billion by 2030. That is equivalent to one-tenth of the current diesel and gasoline market value. Nevertheless, plans for publicly accessible charging infrastructure may still be insufficient to serve the projected growth rate of EVs. 
 
In 2021 alone, 500,000 public chargers were added to the network worldwide, more than the total number of chargers available in 2017. At the end of 2021, 1.8 million chargers were operating worldwide, one-third of which were fast chargers.
"The Ukraine war is considerably accelerating a shift away from fossil fuels. However, the development of the charging infrastructure is still lagging and needs to advance significantly in the future to keep up with a rapidly growing number of EVs."
Charging EVs at home and the workplace will likely meet much of the overall demand. However, public chargers still need to increase ninefold and reach more than 15 million units worldwide by 2030 to provide adequate and convenient coverage for all communities. 
 
With increased EV sales worldwide, the availability of chargers per EV is steadily decreasing. This can be observed in most countries. 
 
In 2021, the average EV to charger ratio in the European Union was 14, up from almost 11 in 2020 and above the recommendation of 10. The largest markets in Europe fall short of the recommended figure, with the UK currently at over 20 EVs per charger. Given the rapid increase in EV sales, public charging points must be installed at an even higher pace to meet the demand in the long term. Thus, the IEA still recommends governmental subsidy programs to expand the charging infrastructure to better serve predicted needs.
numbver of evs per public charging point

THE WAR IN UKRAINE AND THE CONSEQUENCES FOR GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS

The war in Ukraine is shaking global trade tremendously and causing supply bottlenecks and resource shortages. Soon, customers may have to wait longer for their brand-new EVs, which could slow down sales growth short term. Nevertheless, the IEA is very confident that the future of mobility is electric. Simply, sales of electric vehicles will continue to chase records in the long run.
 
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has spotlighted EVs in the efforts to move away from fossil fuel dependencies. In response to that, the IEA has declared e-mobility to 1 of 10 measures to reduce oil consumption.
"The aftermaths of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the resulting disruption of global supply chains may slow down EV sales growth. Yet, looking at the future of electric mobility, the IEA‘s prediction foresees only one development: a steep upward trend."
Due to the current situation, cobalt, lithium and nickel prices have skyrocketed. In May 2022, lithium prices were more than seven times higher than at the beginning of 2021. The Ukraine war has fuelled this price spiral, as Russia supplies 20% of global nickel demand. If metal prices stay at this level in 2022 and conditions for production remain the same, batteries will become around 15% more expensive this year.
 
The concentration of battery supply chains is mainly in China, where ¾ of all lithium-ion batteries are manufactured. Europe is responsible for producing a quarter of the world’s EVs but is only a minor player in the supply chains of batteries, except for cobalt processing (20%).
 

THE 3 SCENARIOS OF THE IEA 

Stated Policies Scenario

The Stated Policies Scenario reflects existing policies and measures, as well as policy ambitions and targets set by governments around the world regarding the future of electromobility. Of the three scenarios, this is the one with the least ambition.
 
This scenario intends to hold up a mirror to policymakers and show them their consequences.
 

Announced Pledges Scenario

The Announced Pledges Scenario (APS) refers to existing climate policy pledges and announcements and assumes that 30% of all vehicles sold in 2030 will be electric. 
 
If the e-mobility sector continues to grow as predicted by the APS, 1.6 million barrels of oil per day will be saved by 2025 and 4.6 million per day by 2030.
 

Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario

The Net Zero Scenario is defined by the narrow but achievable targets for the global energy sector to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
 
To achieve this ambitious goal, the share of EVs must reach 60% globally by 2030. That makes this scenario the most optimistic of the three.
 

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