Sales of electric passenger vehicles (EV) are forecast to drop 18 percent to 1.7 million in 2020.
Sales of combustion engine cars are set to drop 23 percent this year, according to research report from BloombergNEF (BNEF).
Electric models account for 58 percent of new passenger car sales globally by 2040, and 31 percent of the whole car fleet. They will also make up 67 percent of all municipal buses on the road by that year, plus 47 percent of two-wheelers and 24 percent of light commercial vehicles.
The figures have major implications for oil and electricity markets. Transport electrification, particularly in the form of two-wheelers, is already taking out almost 1 million barrels of oil demand per day and by 2040 it will remove 17.6 million barrels per day. Electric vehicles (EVs) of all types are seen adding 5.2 percent to global electricity demand by 2040.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is set to cause a major downturn in global auto sales in 2020. It is raising difficult questions about automakers’ priorities and their ability to fund the transition,” olin McKerracher, head of advanced transport for BNEF, said.
BNEF said overall new passenger vehicle sales will be peaking in 2036 as changing global demographics, increasing urbanization and more shared mobility outweigh the effects of economic development. Electric models will be accounting for 3 percent of car sales in 2020, rising to 7 percent in 2023, at some 5.4 million units.
Further falls in lithium-ion battery prices will mean that the lifetime and upfront costs of an electric car cross over with those of ICE equivalents in around 2025.
Aleksandra O’Donovan, head of electrified transport for BNEF, said: “We estimate that the world will need around 290 million charging points by 2040, including 12 million in public places, involving cumulative investment of $500 billion.”
BNEF estimates that home, workplace and private commercial charging will account for 78 percent of this investment. Investment in public charging infrastructure is seen as a cumulative $111 billion across all countries by 2040.
There are over 7 million passenger EVs on the road, together with more than 500,000 e-buses, almost 400,000 electric delivery vans and trucks, and 184 million electric mopeds, scooters and motorcycles on the road globally. The majority of the e-buses and electric two-wheelers on the road today are in China.