The 7m to 8m Electric Vehicles (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.
“China still has quite a big demand for electricity. The government now supports regions with poor wind and solar resources to use coal-fired power … it’s a more practical measure, as gas is still too expensive,” said Xiao.