Phew! What an end to the decade 2019 proved to be…
EV companies will be celebrating the end of a strong year and looking ahead to 2020 with confidence.
In this article, we’re going to take a quick look over some of the highlights of 2019 for the EV industry. We’ll also pick out 3 of the biggest announcements of the year and predict the effect they’ll have in 2020 and beyond.
The Overall Picture in 2019
One of the standout headlines of the year was the report that global plug-in sales had reached 1.1 million units in the first half of 2019, a 46% increase on the figure for 2018. That represents a volume increase of 358,000 units - equivalent to the entire US plug-in vehicle market of 2018.
But, almost immediately, the good news was tempered in July by a 14% fall in global sales. When you examine the bigger picture, the possible reasons behind this decline emerge:
Falling sales figures were seen mostly in China and North America, with rising figures in Europe.
China revised its subsidy scheme in 2019 to exclude vehicles below 250km e-range, and they also cut subsidies in half for BEVs with a longer range.
US sales have fluctuated year-on-year from a 4% drop in 2015 to an 80% increase in some years since.
Even if US sales are flat compared to 2018, the growth since 2013 is still an impressive 25% per year.
Even with the slight uncertainty of the US and Chinese markets, most industry leaders are expecting the EV industry upward trend to continue. Predictions suggest a surge to 4 million unit sales by 2020, 12 million by 2025, and 21 million by 2030. In fact, it’s predicted that battery EVs will account for 70% of all-electric vehicles by 2030.
As EV sales continue to rise over the next decade or two, the sales volume of fossil fuel vehicles will stabilize, then begin to nosedive from 2024.
The Top 3 Game-changing Announcements
Why are industry experts so optimistic about the future of EV sales?
One major reason for the positive outlook is that 2019 has seen several big announcements that are likely to boost the industry over the years to come.
The team at ampcontrol.io has been busy going back over the year and picking out the 3 most exciting and surprising announcements, and we’ve compiled them for you here, along with some predictions on how they will affect the EV industry.
Oh, and before you ask, we’ve decided to omit Elon Musk’s grand reveal of the Tesla Cybertruck. Yes, it caused the biggest media stir of the year, but we’re looking for the events that will cause lasting change in the industry, not just 5 minutes of good PR!
1. Delivery Companies Go Electric
You may well have heard the news that Amazon made a huge order of 100,000 electric trucks to double their fleet in the US and Europe when it made headlines last year. CEO and founder Jeff Bezos has stated that Amazon is aiming to eliminate the carbon footprint of the company by 2040, saying:
“If a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon—which delivers more than 10 billion items a year—can meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early, then any company can.”
This bold statement from Jeff Bezos is a really motivating call to action to other companies with big fleets of vehicles.
To achieve their goal, Amazon has teamed up with Michigan based EV startup Rivian who, on the back of this success, raised capital funding of $1.7 billion including major stakes from Ford and Cox Automotive.
Other delivery and logistics companies have followed suit. UPS announced that “For the first time, electric trucks are expected to cost UPS no more than regular diesel vehicles.” Although they only have 1,000 EVs in their fleet of 112,000, the announcement seems to signal an intention to expand this number.
DHL also made several announcements, revealing that they added 63 new electric cargo delivery vans to its fleet in 2019. They have also committed to using clean transport for 70% of first-and-last mile deliveries by 2025, and an overall goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Finally, IKEA announced the completion of a new fulfillment center in New York and promised that by the end of 2020, they will deliver all products in the city by EVs.
All of these announcements from delivery companies signal a step in the right direction when it comes to embracing EV technology and a recognition that electric trucks have now reached a commercially viable standard.
2. London will be fully electric
London is leading the charge (no pun intended!) to become one of the world’s leading zero-emission cities. To achieve this, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has set out his plans for a major expansion of London’s electric vehicle-charging network.
London is at the forefront of the zero-emission revolution with more than 20,000 electric vehicles, 1,700 electric taxis and Europe’s largest electric bus fleet. The London boroughs have also come together to incentivize EV ownership. 2019 saw a change to resident parking permits that reduces the amount EV owners have to pay to the lowest tariff.
2019 also saw nine London streets become ‘ultra-low emission’ zones, the first ultra-low zones to be designated that effectively ban non-EVs during peak traffic times. The zones operate between 7 am to 10 am and 4 pm to 7 pm from Monday to Friday. Non-EV drivers will face a fine of up to £130 if caught driving in these zones during the regulated times.
3. Curbside charging finally coming to NYC
They’ve dragged their heels, but the City of New York has finally made its first steps towards introducing improved curbside charging.
Due to the very limited parking space in Manhattan and Brooklyn, electric vehicle charging and parking have been a critical topic for politicians.
After much wrangling, the city has decided to install 120 parking spots across the city in order to create dedicated charging stations for electric vehicles. Although this is only a small number at the moment, it could open up new projects in the future. NYC council also asked citizens to get involved and provide online applications to identify the most important locations.
To 2020 and Beyond…
There’s no doubt that 2019 gave the EV industry lots of reasons to be cheerful!
So, after such an exciting year, what can we expect from 2020?
It’s likely that 2020 will be another great year for the EV market. Big car manufacturers have pledged large amounts of money to invest in developing EVs over the coming decade. Volkswagen, for instance, has allocated $30 billion to be spent on electric vehicles by 2030.
Other manufacturers, such as Daimler and Ford, will be forced to follow the trend, which will open up new choices and bring a dynamic feel to the EV marketplace.
This is good news for the companies involved in the EV charging infrastructure, as more cars on the road means a higher demand for charging stations. However, with the increasing numbers of charging stations, the challenge arises of how to control the distribution and supply.
Fortunately, that is our specialty at ampcontrol.io, so in our next article, we’ll highlight some of the use-cases of managed charging (or Smart Charging) that we can expect to see in 2020.
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