Although the prices of key electric vehicles have gone down by as much as 18% of their 2012 price, new model launches in the next year are set to bring prices down further.
So says Frost & Sullivan in its ‘Strategic Outlook of the Global Electric Vehicle Market in 2013’, which also finds that 2013 sales of EVs are set to rise to 170-190,000 units globally, up more than 50% on the 2012 total of 120,000 units, and estimates that total sales will reach 2.7 million units in 2018.
Frost & Sullivan automotive and transportation team leader Anjan Hemanth Kumar says that the scheduled introduction of about 15 new electric vehicle models in the next one year, such as the BMW i8, the Tesla Model S, the Audi R8 and Q7, the Porsche 918 Spyder, and the Mercedes SLS AMG ECell, will intensify competition in the global electric vehicle market and bring down price.
In addition, the cost of lithium-ion batteries has decreased by 20 to 40% in the last five years, enabling vehicle manufacturers to lower the price of electric vehicles and fuel adoption.
Range anxiety is also being addressed. Earlier this year, the Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE) standardised Combo-type connectors for direct current (DC) charging. In the near future, both CHAdeMO and Combo type DC charging are expected to coexist. More than 10 automakers have launched trials for inductive charging, and standardisation for the same is likely to be announced in 2014. SAE has already set up a task force working towards the standardisation of inductive charging.
In addition, governments in various countries have extended incentives and benefits for electric vehicle consumers to 2015 and beyond. Scandinavia has led the way, with Norway gradually increasing its penetration rate of electric vehicles beyond 3% in 2013.
‘Europe has invested close to €2 billion in various R&D projects ranging from electric vehicle powertrain to grid,’ reckoned Mr Kumar. ‘Added developments in battery technology in the United States, China and Europe will improve energy density and further reduce cost.’