Electric Vehicles Are Being Outpaced By The Growth Of SUVs
Nick Butler, Financial Times, 7 October 2019
Anyone who believes that behavioural change is going to produce a solution to the challenge of global warming should take a good look at the latest figures on consumer choices in the auto sector.
Electric vehicles are growing in number and quality but they are being outstripped by the popularity of SUVs — sports utility vehicles with four-wheel drive and a raised clearance which make them suitable for off-road driving.
A casual reader of the media during the past few months could easily get the idea that electric vehicles were in the process of taking over the market. One headline tells us that the electric vehicle boom is coming. Another says that the boom offers a bleak future for gasoline.
EV numbers are certainly growing. Worldwide, some 5.1m electric vehicles were on the world’s roads by the end of 2018, an increase of 2m over the previous year. That growth will certainly continue. Dozens of new models are being brought on to the market this year and there has been a surge of investment in associated infrastructure such as charging points, of which there are now more than 5m worldwide, according to the International Energy Agency.
Despite some decline in the very rapid growth seen in China in recent years, global sales of EVs are expected to rise by between 2.4m and 2.9m this year.
The oil majors, led by BP and Shell, have bought into charging technology in anticipation of the growth to come. The IEA anticipates in its new policies scenario that, by 2030, EV sales could reach some 23m a year, creating a stock of about 130m vehicles. Taken in isolation, that could make a dent in the demand for gasoline of some 2.5m barrels per day.
But EVs cannot be considered in isolation. The 7m to 8m EVs that should be on the road by the end of 2019 represent less than a tenth of 1 per cent of the 1.1bn cars and other light vehicles that use internal combustion engines. Some 85m ICE vehicles were sold worldwide in 2018.
The even more telling fact is that the growth of EVs is being exceeded by the much more rapid growth in the number of SUVs. After growth of over 20 per cent a year earlier in the decade, the global demand for SUVs is now stabilising but at a high level of market share. In the US, SUVs account for 45 per cent of new car sales. But the trend is not limited to the US. In Europe SUVs take 34 per cent of new sales, in China 42 per cent and in India 23 per cent.
6) Chinese Electric Cars ‘Worthless’ When It Comes To Resale
Asia Times, 29 September 2019
Nobody in China wants a used electric car — unless it’s a Tesla. And according to one of China’s top auto industry bodies, this was “inevitable.”
In its weekly update on China’s ailing auto market, the China Passenger Car Association listed several reasons why value retention is “too low” for new-energy vehicles, including fully electric, fuel-cell and hybrid cars, Caixin reported.
The list includes a shortage of purchase statistics that could be analyzed to help manage risks. The discrepancy of technologies used in Chinese electric cars is also large, meaning certain models are not reliable and are “simply worthless,” the association said.
“As startups release more products, standards will rise incrementally,” the association said, adding the lifespan of electric car components and batteries are still inferior to that of similar components for traditional vehicles.
“It’s not very feasible to simply wait for electric vehicles to raise their value retention,” it said.
CPCA’s remarks come as Chinese electric vehicle sales start to contract alongside traditional vehicle sales that have been falling for more than a year.
The nation is the world’s largest NEV market, after building up huge capacity on the back of generous government incentives.
But the huge buildup, often using older technologies, has led to observations that much of the nation’s output is far from cutting-edge.
Sale of NEVs fell 16% in August, which followed a 4.7% drop in July, after the government scaled back subsidies, according to figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.