In-depth Report: eMobility 2021

Statista Mobility Market Outlook


This report offers insights into the eMobility market, focusing on electric cars, e-scooters, e-bikes, e-buses, and e-LCVs but also giving further insights. The Excel file complements the report with a detailed list of currently available electric vehicle models and their specifications.

The history of electric vehicles started in the early 1800s, but only took off when Tesla entered the market and reignited public interest in electric cars. In 2020, global electric vehicle sales nearly reached the three million threshold, and many countries are now pushing to increase the number of electric cars on their streets. Currently, Mainland China is leading the way with a market share of almost 40%. Car manufacturers are pushing to bring out new electric car models and have big plans for the future. The 2020 race for the highest market share was won by the Tesla Model 3 with 12%, followed by Wuling's Hong Guang MINI EV, and Renault Zoe with 4% and 3% respectively.

There are five major drivers of the electric vehicle market: government policies, the Tesla effect, lower battery costs, 5G rollouts, and the launch of the Battery-as-a-Service model. Governments are trying to achieve their emission goals set out in various global agreements and have devised various incentive schemes to increase electric vehicle sales. While electric vehicles are a major step towards achieving environmental goals, Tesla managed to fuse this with high performance and aesthetics, thereby playing a pivotal role in changing the industry’s overall appeal. The significant reduction in the prices of battery packs is also driving mass adoption of these vehicles. Further, 5G rollouts and new business models such as Battery-as-a-Service are expected to drive future growth.

Five main challenges hinder the adoption of electric vehicles: lack of infrastructure (such as charging stations), high upfront costs, lack of consumer knowledge and wrong perceptions, pressure from oil companies and the car manufacturer lobby, and potential long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only are charging stations still very few and far between, but they are also usually manufactured by different suppliers without a standardized charging and payment system. In addition, high upfront costs make electrical vehicles less attractive than traditional internal-combustion engine cars, mainly due to the high battery costs which often account for as much as 50% of the total vehicle cost.

Autonomous driving and electric cars go, without a doubt hand in hand. Thanks to easier integration and component control, it is easier to realize self-driving cars using electric vehicles rather than vehicles with internal combustion engines. While the U.S. has been pioneering this trend, Mainland China will be the market leader. Despite the challenges, lithium-ion batteries are still expected to dominate the battery market for electric vehicles. This is mainly because the development of new battery technologies is both very expensive and complicated. Moreover, Mainland China’s domination of the lithium-ion battery supply chain is expected to come to an end in the medium to long-term, as the U.S. and Europe are gaining more control over various elements of the supply chain. Interestingly, quantum computing is expected to significantly disrupt the electric vehicle industry, resulting in higher battery ranges, new product launches, and autonomous driving. Due to their low operating costs, electric vehicles are also part of the ride-sharing movement, with many car manufacturers launching electric car-sharing operations. Moreover, the demand for related electronics and software is expected to grow significantly over the next few years.

Lithium-ion batteries dominate the market mainly because they deliver the highest range at a lower cost when compared to any other battery. However, due to limitations such as long charging times, the battery’s size, and heavy weight, as well as limited battery capacity, companies such as Toyota, Volkswagen, Nissan, and Tesla are now investing in solid-state, lithium-sulfur, and zinc-air batteries for their future models. Further, universities, technology companies, and independent battery start-ups are collaborating to develop other types of batteries, such as aluminum-ion, smart membranes, and graphene-based supercapacitors to enable faster charging times and longer life cycles.

Rising pollution levels, potential operational cost savings, and heavy dependence on public transportation are the three major factors driving the gradual switch from hydrocarbon-based to electric public transportation. The total number of electric buses in the world is expected to witness a 300% increase from 386,000 in 2017 to about 1.2 million in 2025, with Mainland China accounting for a share of 99%. Financial support from the government, a large urban population—and the resultant pollution, a lack of traditional transportation infrastructure, global trade, and increased public awareness are the five key reasons for Mainland China’s dominance.

E-scooters have recently gained in popularity and are believed to be the solution to the “last mile” transportation problem in many global markets. Even though the overarching reason behind the development of various alternative fuel technologies is restricting environmental damage mainly caused by polluting vehicles, the e-scooter industry is particularly driven by the rise of micromobility. The aim here is to transform urban transportation by using cheaper and faster alternatives to cars, especially in dense urban areas in the U.S., Asia, and Latin America.

E-bikes are essentially conventional bikes equipped with a rechargeable battery and motor, helping them gain momentum faster and achieve speeds of up to 30 miles an hour. They look and function just like traditional bikes and give riders the option to pedal when they like. They are classified according to functionality (mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrid bikes, folding bikes, and utility bikes) or according to design (pedal assist/pedelec, throttle, and speed pedelec). The growing popularity of e-scooters around the world has piqued interest in e-bikes. The first e-bike was manufactured in Japan in 1993, with Yamaha launching its pedal assist bicycle.

As electric drive vehicles are gradually gaining momentum around the world, the next phase of growth is expected to mainly be driven by vans and trucks. The need to switch to cleaner engines is far greater for these larger vehicles, given that they are more polluting than cars. Even though fewer than 5% of vehicles in Europe are commercial vehicles or heavy-duty trucks they contribute to almost 20% of greenhouse gas emissions. One of the main reasons why the light commercial vehicles (LCV) industry is witnessing electric disruption at such a fast pace is its high and predictable usage rate.

Consumer insights show that gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles are in the lead: Gasoline- and diesel-powered cars are the most frequently used type of car for respondents in the U.S., the UK, and Germany. While gasoline-powered vehicles remain the most likely scenario for the future, hybrids and electric drive vehicles are catching up. Electric drive vehicles are considered sustainable and environmentally friendly but are not seen as particularly sporty, whereas gasoline-powered vehicles score in terms of being good daily drivers and are considered sportier too. In Germany, government subsidies for electric cars are considered quite small, and reducing environmental pollution is seen as the main benefit of having an electric car. The most innovative brand in the field of alternative drives is Tesla-also the brand most associated with electromobility.

German eMobility experts are critical of business conditions in Germany when compared with other countries, and financial incentives put in place by the German government to boost the demand for electric vehicles has little/no influence on sales. Experts predicted fewer newly registered diesel cars and more hybrid and electric ones by 2020, and this has certainly been the case. Increasing the number of charging stations would have the highest influence on the market as 53% of respondents see current charging infrastructure as very/rather bad. Tesla is considered best in class for OEMs in terms of reach, ease of use, and battery performance—and self-driving cars are considered a game changer for the mobility sector.

Tesla is the most recognized electrical vehicle brand in the world, with combined sales of the Model 3 and Model Y reaching 440,000 units in 2020. Aesthetics and longer ranges when compared with other EVs are the primary reasons for Tesla’s success. However, production issues with the Model 3 have resulted in delays and liquidity problems. BYD is one of the largest selling brands in Mainland China, and it has a limited focus on international markets. The company’s top selling brand in 2020 was the Qin, with sales of nearly 49,000 units. Other leading companies include BAIC, BMW, General Motors, and Nissan.

Mainland China, Germany, and the U.S. were the three biggest markets for electrical vehicles in 2020 and accounted for more than 60% of all electrical vehicle sales globally in 2020. Most of the European countries witnessed robust sales in 2020 as compared to 2019. In Japan, electrical vehicles sales declined in 2020 continuing the downward trend of 2018. In terms of charging infrastructure, Mainland China again leads the pack with more than 800,000 publicly accessible charging points, followed by the U.S. (ca. 98,981), the Netherlands (ca. 65,633), and Korea (ca. 64,188).

Since 2013, PEV sales have been steadily rising in Europe, with sales in the top eight countries amounting to over 641,000 units in 2020. The leading countries for 2020 include Germany, France, the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland. As for e-LCVs (including BEVs and PHEVs), Germany was the leading market in 2020 in terms of sales, followed by France, the UK, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, and Italy.

Mainland China is by far the market leader, not only in Asia but also worldwide. PEV sales amounted to over 931,000 in 2020 - nearly 25 percent more than the combined PEV sales in Europe. South Korea, Japan, and India are the other leading markets in Asia. As for e-LCVs, Mainland China and Korea account for a 98% share in the Asian market, with combined sales of over 53,600 units in 2020.

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