It has now been over 3 years since I wrote my first electric vehicle [EV] article back in March 2015 titled "Chinese Electric Vehicle Companies About To Boom." At that time it was becoming increasingly clear to me that China would lead the world towards a new way of travel - a way that was pollution free. In hindsight it all seems quite obvious especially if ever you have traveled to or lived in a highly polluted Asian or Chinese city.
In this article I want to take a look over the past 3 years and just see how far we have come and where we may be going next. Below is a brief summary of some of the major headlines (with links) to get a perspective.
EV news highlights 2015-2018
- Tesla Model S named best overall vehicle by consumer reports. Tesla Model X production begins.
- China electric car sales increased 223% in 2015.
- Global electric car sales reach 540,000 in 2015, up 70% on 2014, representing 0.6% of the global market share.
Tesla Model X production begins
- August 2016 - EV monthly news begins.
- The world's first self-driving taxi service was launched in Singapore, with human drivers as backup.
- Bloomberg wrote "Why Electric Cars Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think" , and I wrote "Electric Vehicles Will Be Affordable And Popular By 2020 - An EV Portfolio To Consider."
- BYD Co's (OTCPK:BYDDF) (OTCPK:BYDDY) global bus and taxi expansion continues. BYD enters into the monorail business. BYD ends 2016 as global No 1 electric car seller yet again.
- Lithium saw its price triple in 2016.
- Global EV sales finished 2016 at 774,000 for the year, up 40% on 2015, and representing 0.85% of the global market share.
EV costs declining graph
- 10 lithium ion gigafactories planned.
- Cobalt Price Has Tripled Since 2016.
- Tesla (TSLA) battery cell production begins at the gigafactory. Tesla begins production with of Model 3. Tesla Semi truck launched.
- Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY) is investing 70 billion Euros into electric vehicles.
- September 10, 2017 - China to ban sale of fossil fuel cars in electric vehicle push. Regulators working on timetable for the ban. China joins U.K., France to phase out combustion-engine cars.
- September 2017 - I wrote - "The Electric Vehicle boom just went into overdrive - What stocks to buy." Subsequently from September to December 2017 most EV and EV metal related stocks boomed.
- Paris plans to banish all but electric cars by 2030.
- 2017 total year sales ended at a record 1,223,000, up 58% on 2016, and reaching ~1.4% market share.
Tesla Model 3 begins production
- Electric car sales continue to set new records in Q1 2018, with sales up 59% on last year.
- 25 Battery Megafactories announced or under construction with >1GWh production.
- China launches world's first all-electric cargo ship. Norway's first zero-emissions electric ferry "MF Ampere" launched, and world's first zero emission zone at sea.
- Port Liner plans to have 5 autonomous electric barges in the Netherlands.
- ICE car manufacturers rush to join the EV boom before the 2019 China ZEV credit system starts.
- VW Just Ordered $US48 Billion in Electric Car Batteries. In Euros the figure was 40b Euros.
- Boeing Co. (BA) backed startup Zunum Aero plans to deliver its first hybrid-electric plane in 2022 to JetSuite Inc.
- China bans new fossil-fuel vehicle plants perhaps starting from the beginning of 2019.
A pictorial review of last years news
2018 - Global electric cars sales grew 58% in 2017
2018 - Global electric car market share in 2017 - averaged ~1.4% and peaked at 2% in December
Tesla's semi-truck launched
2018 - Norway's first zero-emissions ferry - The MF Ampere
2018 - World's first fully electric cargo ship
2018 - China is adding a London-sized electric bus fleet every five weeks
2018 - Car companies commitments to going electric from 2018 to 2025
2018 - Autonomous electric barges planned for the Netherlands
2018 - Boeing Co. backed startup Zunum Aero plans to deliver its first hybrid-electric plane in 2022 to JetSuite Inc.
EV's future - 2019 and beyond
2018 really gives a good insight into what we can expect going forward. As the pictorial news above shows we can expect more electric vehicle of all shapes and sizes. Some of my thoughts for the next few years are listed below.
- More electric bus fleets and electric taxis being rolled out globally.
- Some electric semis may arrive on the scene.
- More electric car models and with longer range. Internal Combustion Engine [ICE] manufactures rush to comply with the 2019 China ZEV system.
- Much more electric charging stations, more advancements in fast charging, more battery gigafactories.
- General Motors (GM) plans to release the first ever autonomous robot taxis in 2019. Alphabet Google (GOOGL) (GOOG), Apple (AAPL), and in China Baidu (BIDU) are also heavily involved. Autonomous vehicles being used for logistics.
- My forecast is for electric car market share (of new vehicle sales) to rise to ~3.75% globally by end 2019.
- BNEF forecasts by 2020 there will be over 120 different models of EV's across the spectrum.
- Electric bikes, buses, trucks and taxis becoming common in larger cities.
- Electric ships appearing on our rivers and oceans.
- More semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles arriving.
- My forecast is for electric car market share to rise to ~5% globally by end 2020.
- Most new cars will be "connected smart" cars - giving online internet access. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems [ADAS] will be common place.
- Electric bikes, trucks, ships and boats becoming increasingly common.
- Hybrid electric planes starting to appear, initially in smaller planes. Larger planes starting to develop a balance between electric and conventional propulsion.
- Autonomous vehicles becoming increasingly common especially on set routes and closed routes.
- Electric cars likely to reach cost parity with ICE cars by end 2022 (my forecast). Bloomberg forecasts by 2025.
- My forecast is for electric car market share to rise to ~9% globally by end 2022.
- Many cities (London, Paris, Stuttgart, Mexico City, Madrid, and Athens) to ban ICE vehicles or at least diesel vehicles.
- My forecast is for electric car market share to rise to ~15% globally by end 2025.
- Many countries (Netherlands, China, Germany, France, UK) to ban ICE vehicles or at least diesel vehicles either by 2030 or 2040.
- My forecast is for electric car market share to rise to ~30% globally by end 2025.
EV sales forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Note: By 2040 my model forecasts 70% of new car sales will be electric.
The EV boom will continue to be led by China and Europe; however increasingly cheaper and smaller electric cars will help the boom expand globally. Countries such as India hope to be fully electric by 2030.
Some futuristic concept electric cars
VW Microbus concept EV at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show
Apple iMove design study electric car
Mercedes Smart Vision EQ fully autonomous concept car
2023 BMW i8 electric car
A Google/Waymo autonomous car - Lidar and camera on the roof, radar near the bumper bar (front fender)
A fully autonomous all-electric Chevy Bolt - Planned for 2019
Toyota's concept e-Palette for ride sharing or logistics
A look at the inside of a fully autonomous car of the future
The past 3 years has seen a rapid increase in acceptance of EVs. Pushed along by subsidies and legislation the ICE manufacturers (particularly in China and Europe) have responded well to the challenge. Volkswagen being the classic example emerging from their diesel emissions scandal to announcing an extraordinary 70 billion Euro investment into electric vehicles, backed up with their recent 40 billion Euro lithium ion battery procurement.
The next few years will see more and more electric vehicles in all shapes and sizes - Electric bikes, cars, trucks, taxis, machinery, buses, boats, ships, and planes. Added to this the military will also continue to start to electrify their transport fleets, and the era of fully autonomous vehicles and ride sharing vehicles will arrive.
For investors there will be enormous opportunities especially given the rapid pace of change. My Trend Investing service will continue to focus to capture the best opportunities for investors.
As usual all comments are welcome.
Thanks for reading the article. If you want to go to the next level, sign up for Trend Investing, my Marketplace service. I share my best investing ideas and latest articles on the latest trends. You will also get access to exclusive CEO interviews and chat room access to me, and to other sophisticated investors. You can benefit from the hundreds of hours of work I've done to analyze the best opportunities in emerging industries, especially the electric vehicle and EV metals sector. You can learn more by reading "The Trend Investing Difference", "Recent Subscriber Feedback On Trend Investing", or sign up here.
My latest related Trend Investing articles are:
Disclosure: I am/we are long BYD Co (HK:1211), GOOG.
I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Additional disclosure: The information in this article is general in nature and should not be relied upon as personal financial advice.
Editor's Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.