E-mobility market predictions for 2018
As enthusiastic e-mobility promoters our aim is to see more emission free vehicles out there. Electric vehicle technology has come a long way in the last four or five years. Ranges have gone up, charge times have gone down and performance is getting better and better. At Konetik we are really excited to be part of the e-mobilty revolution and we are keen to watch what comes next in 2018. To come up with our list we researched into industry reports and talked with experts before forming our own predictions.
1. Range anxiety is coming to its end
2018 is set to be the year the world fully embraces the electric car. In 2012 a Nissan Leaf had a maximum range of 120 km, now vehicles could go 500 km with a single charge which is a massive improvement. For EVs, the really important numbers to watch are price, driving range and availability.
Consumers will finally be able to buy reasonably affordable and widely available electric cars that can hold enough power to get through their normal daily routines. Growing EV adoption is facilitating investments into the growth of infrastructure. Tesla alone has a goal of reaching 18,000 Superchargers by end of 2018. In the US there was 60 000 public chargers in December 2017. The development of charging infrastructure availability eliminates further barriers around charging, and EV adoption could grow. Together with the increasing supply of affordable EVs in 2018 (new models such as Nissan LEAF 2018, Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Ioniq) this could lead to a snowball effect which will fuel the growth.
2. Mass market large family and executive electric cars are still missing
There will be additional high-end, luxury electric vehicles launched in 2018 such as Jaguar i-Pace or Audi e-tron. The price tag is quite high to consider them affordable vehicles. There is still a huge gap in the D and E segments, there are no affordable large family and executives vehicles. There are plug-in-hybrid alternatives for this segments to bridge the gap towards emission free alternatives. According to a Wired article Jaguar Land Rover cars and SUVs will have an electric option by 2020. Sweden’s Volvo is promising the same, by 2019.
3. Wireless charging will be integrated in EVs
Wireless charging uses electromagnetic energy to transmit power between two coils. The technology is rooted back to the days of Faraday and Tesla in the 19th and early 20th century. The promise of this technology that motorists may be able to get a charge from coils embedded in road as they travel along.
In November 2017, SAE International published a new specification for wireless EV charging. This can enable many automakers to include wireless charging in EVs beginning in 2020–2021. BMW has announced that their 530e iPerformance will have available wireless charging sometime in 2018. Companies such as Qualcomm, WiTricity are the forerunners in this market that is expected to boost in the next year.
4. Oil and energy companies widening their portfolios and acquiring startups
In 2017 we saw significant M&A activities in the EV market led by oil and energy companies. Enel acquired eMotorWerks, Shell bought NewMotion. ENGIE acquired EV Box the largest European electric vehicle charging player. OEMs such as BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen teamed up with Shell to form IONITY as a joint venture to give a boost to fast charging in Europe. We expect further acquistions by oil and energy companies to broaden their service portfolio and expand further in the emerging e-mobility market.
5. Smart charging programs will be commercialised
With the growing number of electric vehicles, grid stability and charging management will be an even pressing issue for utility companies. EV means a new emerging market. Selling services to e-vehicle owners is promising but it also results in a serious threat to the stability of the grid. If a problem occurs it could drive huge costs on the maintenance side.
In smart charging programs drivers enter their estimated time of departure and the required battery level, then the solution directs the battery to charge in the most cost efficient way when electricity is the cheapest.
We expect further smart charging programs launched in 2018 to engage with EV motorists.
6. The used EV market is growing
As the EV market is taking off there will be more and more affordable used car alternatives for buyers aiming to spend less on electromobility. Used EVs, with less moving parts when compared to internal combustion vehicles, represent a great buy on the used market compared to ICVs.
As an example in 2018 Nissan LEAF, Renault Zoe can be bought under 10k EUR in Europe. However, the used car buyers for EVs should consider the uncertainties around battery degradation, compatibility, fast charging capabilities, and warranty terms.
7. Leasing companies start offering EVs to their clients
Many of the people who leased fully electric cars are taking into consideration rapid technological progress in this market, especially with regard to batteries and range. There is a risk for leasing companies associated to the residual value of the vehicle after the leasing period due to the technology changess rapidly. Regardless that the electrification trend seems to be inevitable.
Leasing companies are also reacting to the demand towards EVs and growing their service portfolio towards companies with EVs. 80 percent of new EVs are leased according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Leaseplan already launched a pilot program in 2017 just as ALD offered leasing of EVs in the BeNeLux or Voltia, a fleet electrification company for the Light Commercial Vehicle segment offering EVs for logistic companies. We expect further leasing companies and mobility-as-a-service providers to jump on this trend in 2018.
8. Further countries and cities announce plans to ban sales of internal combustion vehicles
This year India, the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, and France announced their aim to phase out gas and diesel vehicles within the next few decades. China, is moving towards the same direction. Government incentives influence car buyers attitudes, pioneered by the first ‘mass market’ Norway, where EV sales now account for around 30 percent of sales. We expect further country, state and city legislation to support the electrification trends.
In 2018, electric cars will finally reach a rare momentum to become a viable option from a niche product. The market still needs to be improved in certain segments but if you’re looking to buy an electric car in 2018, you have more options than ever.