Production plans for electric vehicles announced to date are below sales targets set by countries

IEA launches updated roadmap on Electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

5 July 2011

According to a newly updated Electric Vehicle Roadmap report from the International Energy Agency, announcements from major manufacturers in terms of future production plans for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (EVs and PHEVs) are far below sales targets set by countries.

“Most major auto manufacturers have announced their EV and/or PHEV production plans, which add up to 0.9 million units by 2015 and about 1.4 million units per year by 2020,” wrote Lew Fulton Senior Transport Analyst at the IEA. “However, it is well below existing national sales targets of about 1.5 million in 2015 and 7 million in 2020. This is not necessarily a problem – yet, but we must track this situation closely over the next 1 to 2 years.”

This target of 7 million EV sales, if achieved, would match close to 10% of total vehicle sales in 2020, but would still only make up 2% of the global car pool that year.

However, if the IEA’s ‘BLUE Map’ scenario – which outlines pathways to reach a target of halving global energy-related CO2 emissions by 2050 (compared with 2005 levels) – is to be realised, then the 2% target by 2020 is an important intermediate step towards getting 1 billion Evs and PHEVs on the road in 2050, which would represent over 50% of the global car fleet.

The mass deployment of Evs and PHEVs that rely on low greenhouse gas emission electricity generation has great potential to significantly reduce the consumption of petroleum and other high CO2-emitting transportation fuels.

“As well as playing a key role in the battle against climate change, by reducing reliance on oil, Evs and PHEVs also help boost energy security – the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price – in countries throughout the world,” explained Mr. Fulton.

The IEA’s June 2011 Technology Roadmap – Electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles – is an update of a report from 2009 which included targets and strategies for realising rapid growth in electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles around the world.

“When it comes to electric vehicles, the world is changing rapidly, and the IEA is keeping up,” said Lew Fulton. “Consequently, the IEA has updated its roadmap to reflect trends and changes over the past two years, with updated and enhanced tracking of projections and recent policies.”

This could change for the better over the next few years if manufacturers make further announcements. One such way this could be encouraged is through the introduction of incentive schemes by governments.

This updated roadmap maintains its initial vision and overarching goals, and continues to identify the steps that need to be taken to accomplish these goals. It also outlines the roles and collaboration opportunities for different stakeholders and shows how government policy can support the overall achievement of the vision.

This updated roadmap is now available as a free download.

What are the different types of electric vehicle?
There are three main types, all of which fall under the IEA’s term ‘advanced vehicles’:

    • Electric vehicle (EV).Typically refers to a plug-in, battery electric vehicle. It is sometimes also termed ‘battery electric vehicle’. Evs do not have an internal combustion engine
    • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).PHEVs contain both an internalcombustion engine and a motor with battery pack. In contrast, a regular hybrid vehicle does not have enough battery storage on board to be worthwhile adding a plug-in capability. PHEVs tend to have a shorter electric-driving range than Evs, but conversely have the benefit of a back-up internal combustion engine should the battery get drained.
  • Fuel cell models. These vehicles convert hydrogen into electricity using a fuel cell system. Hydrogen is typically stored on-board the vehicle for conversion, so these need not be plug-in vehicles. However, it appears likely that plug-in hybrid type fuel cell vehicles – with batteries and a fuel cell system instead of an internal combustion engine – may be an optimal configuration, and thus they would be plug-in vehicles.

Photo: © IEA

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