The spread of electric vehicles through the passenger vehicle (and truck) fleets in coming decades has the potential to substantially alter transport energy use and transport infrastructure, with implications that have to be considered by policy makers.

This report describes an approach for estimating likely electric passenger vehicle uptake for each of 22 counties around the world. The resulting models allow an understanding of the forces underlying electric vehicle uptake trends in each of the countries, thus providing estimates of the predicted speeds with which electric vehicle sales will replace sales of fossil fuel vehicles.

Models of electric vehicle uptake were derived for Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States (as well as for the ‘Rest of Europe’).

Key points:

  • Estimates of the cost of electric vehicles out to 2030 are used in conjunction with purchase taxes and subsidies to allow a ratio of electric vehicle (EV) to fossil fuel vehicle (FFV) annual costs to be calculated for each country.
  • The ratio changes when different assumptions are used for future changes in electric vehicle subsidies, electric vehicle prices or oil prices, leading to changes in electric vehicle uptake.
  • In the base-case forecasts from the models (as shown in Figure A.1), the Australian EV share of new sales is predicted to reach 8 per cent by 2025 and 27 per cent by 2030. Globally, the EV share of new sales is predicted to reach 18 per cent by 2025 and 36 per cent by 2030.
  • The models can provide estimates to policy makers of the effect on electric vehicle uptake rates of any detailed changes in subsidies, taxes or charges. Sensitivity testing suggests that the rate of uptake of EVs is influenced by future petrol prices and electric vehicle prices, but with the latter being far more influential.
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