The tipping point of electric mobility is here

The truth is, “electric cars” has always been a heavily Googled search term, whether it be those electric toy cars for the kids, or the grownup version. The search term hit its peak in 2008, right when Tesla launched its first electric car – the Tesla Roadster. In the past few months, we’ve seen a slight increase in search popularity, yet it hasn’t managed to reach the peak of 2008.

What happened here is that, back in 2008, there was no mass market for electric cars, nor adequate charging infrastructure. But over the years, the search interest has become more “serious”. A search term like “electric car charging” has been gaining popularity since 2012, just two years after we embarked on our journey to bring charging solutions to every EV driver across the world. Fast forward to today, sixty electric cars later, the industry is speaking of a tipping point for electric mobility. And I have my reasons to believe that this is true.

Because car makers are electrifying entire fleets

The costs of producing an electric vehicle have reduced significantly - much of it thanks to the advancements made on car batteries. In 2010, a 30kWh battery cost $30,000 to produce. Today that battery can be made for $9,000. In 2030, it will be $2,190.

Ultimately, the announcement of new electric models from car makers is not just about providing new options to the consumers; it’s a shift of mindset. None of the car manufacturers would want to follow the footsteps of Kodak and lose the battle in this new era.

This overview gives you an idea of how much car makers are committing themselves to this electric battle:

  • Volkswagen announced that it will electrify its +/- 300 models by 2030.
  • BMW announced that its electric vehicles should take up 15% to 25% of its sales by 2025.
  • Mercedes-Benz announced that that it’ll offer 50 new electrified models by 2022.
  • Tesla received 400,000 pre-orders for its Model 3 without consumers even getting a glimpse of the car in action before pre-order.
  • Volvo announced that it’ll exclusively make electrified models starting 2019.
  • GM announced that it’ll debut “at least” 20 electric cars in the next five years, 2 of which in the next eighteen months.
  • Renault Nissan Mitsubishi alliance will have invested €10 billion in electric mobility by 2022.

We’re just getting started. BYD, Jaguar Land Rover, and many others are following similar steps. Check out this overview for some of the electric beauties we’re anticipating.

Because electric cars are reaching price parity

There will never be a worldwide adoption of electric cars if we can’t make them affordable to the average car owner. And that is why we’re approaching price parity. Tesla Model 3 will be a competitive choice compared to the BMW 330 Sedan or the Mercedes-Benz C300. Dropping battery costs haven’t been the only driver behind the production of electric cars. In fact, the economic potential of electric vehicles is self-evident. An internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle features about 2,000 moving parts, whereas an electric vehicle only contains 20. This difference alone drastically decreases maintenance costs and increases the longevity of the vehicle. Moreover, a recent survey we did amongst 850 electric drivers, found that 85% of EV drivers have a much better experience of electric driving than they expected. None of them expect themselves to ever switch back to an ICE vehicle.

Because governments are announcing ban on ICE sales

The worldwide sales of electric vehicles are expected to surpass the ICE vehicle sales by 2038. This explains many of the deadlines set by governments to phase out the sales of internal combustion engine vehicles, which all happen around the same time. The motivations are unanimous. To meet those emission and air quality standards, sustainable and electric transportation is the most effective way to go.

This overview gives you an idea of how much local governments are committing themselves to this electric mission:

  • UK and France announced to ban the sale of ICE vehicles by 2040.
  • India shares the same vision as the UK and France, and has even set its eyes on reaching this target by 2035.
  • Scotland, Norway, and The Netherlands plan to ban the sales of ICE public transportation by 2025.
  • The city of Amsterdam, also known as the EV capital of the world, will ban ICE commercial vehicles (i.e. taxis and vans) as of January 2018.
  • China has set EV sales quotas for all major car manufacturers, which will go into effect starting 2019.
  • The state of California is considering an ICE ban despite opposing country legislatures.

Because global brands are going electric

These developments headed by car makers and governments have affected more than just their own consumers and citizens. Multinationals are investing in electrifying their fleet and adding smart charging infrastructure to support this adoption. Navigant Research estimates an $80 billion investment in charging infrastructure over the course of ten years. Not a surprising number, as we alone have installed over 50.000 charging points across 30 countries to date. Half of it has been installed in the last three years. I think this really is a testament to the increasing interest and adoption of electric transportation, and as a result, charging infrastructure.

This overview gives you an idea of how much companies are committing themselves to this electric era:

  • DHL will develop its own electric delivery vans.
  • Vattenfall, part of the EV100 initiative, is already replacing its passenger and light commercial vehicles in Sweden, The Netherlands, and Germany with electric alternatives. It’ll electrify its whole 3500 car-fleet in the next five years.
  • Unilever, the first FMCG to join the EV100 initiative, commits to 100% electric vehicles by 2030.
  • Also part of the aforementioned EV100 initiative are Baidu, Metro AG, Heathrow Airport, and HP, who have all announced to fully electrify their fleets in the upcoming years.
  • PG&E and IKEA announced to electrify their internal fleets across their locations worldwide and to add charging stations that make it more practical for their staff and visitors.
  • Shell and Total are putting charging infrastructure in place to meet consumer demands. Shell even wants to get 20% of fuel margins from non-petroleum vehicles and plans to offer its first charging point in the UK this month.

Electric mobility is unstoppable

92% of people living in cities do not breathe safe air today. And 80% of world’s cities have air pollution rising above safe air levels. In the US alone, transportation causes 27% of CO2 emissions annually. These alarming statistics gave rise to investments into clean energy and electric transportation worldwide. These are also the reasons why we, and many others in this emerging industry, have sprung up in the last decade, and booked significant results in driving open standards such as OCPP and OCPI to accelerate the adoption of sustainable mobility.

There’s no stopping electric cars. Share your take on this below!

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Kristof Vereenooghe

Kristof Vereenooghe is the CEO of EVBox, the leading manufacturer of electric vehicle charging stations and charging management software. Kristof is a seasoned entrepreneur with SaaS cloud software expertise and a track record in driving international growth. Before joining EVBox, Kristof played a leading role at various startups that have now become key players within their industries, such as Bynder, LUMA Marketing Technologies, and Xeikon.

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