According to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), emission-free vehicles will outnumber those powered by oil within the next 20 years. The BNEF’s annual Electric Vehicle Outlook (EVO) is a bold jump from last year’s predictions, mainly because of research indicating the rise of more affordable lithium-ion batteries.
It’s not only great news that we’ll save more money, but that we’ll be doing it while making an environmentally conscious decision.
“The EV [Electric Vehicle] revolution is going to hit the car market even harder and faster than BNEF predicted a year ago. EVs are on track to accelerate to 54% of new car sales by 2040. Tumbling battery prices mean that EVs will have lower lifetime costs, and will be cheaper to buy, than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars in most countries by 2025-29,” states the report.
As the batteries become more affordable, an EV will be cheaper to buy and maintain over the course of its life. Battery packs that were $1,000 in 2010 now cost less than $300. Prices are expected to drop to less than $100 within the next 10 years.
This could result in a reduction of oil consumption by 8 million barrels. That’s a whopping 25 percent of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC), and more than Saudi Arabia’s entire daily output.
The market is slowly shifting. With climate change nearly fully recognized as a global threat, many nations, such as China, are thankfully taking a hardline position and forcing automakers to increase production of EVs. The European Union has also adopted stricter guidelines for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Volvo has already committed to production of gasoline-free vehicles by 2019.
California has its own zero-emission mandate and is joined by 13 other states that are permitted via waiver to set their own guidelines. As of now, the current fossil-fuel trigger-happy Trump administration and an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) led by climate denier Scott Pruitt have left these state-specific quotas and the waiver allowing them unchallenged. As long as automakers go along with the demand for more EVs and don’t suffer a loss of profit, these mandates will likely be left untouched. It may become a battle in the future, but many cities seem ready for that fight.
With a goal of becoming emission-free by 2025, it seems Norway has the right idea. It went from just 321 vehicles as registered EVs in 2007 to 100,000 registered in 2016. With incentives such as tax credits, free city parking, and access to bus lanes, it’s a no-brainer for people looking to make the switch.
We need to address climate change however and whenever we can. If we keep up the demand for EVs we can make this daily factor of our lives a part of that reality. With more demand, the prices will drop, fueling research into more efficient batteries, contributing to a surge in needed charging stations — saving us money, and equally as important, saving the environment.