The number of electric vehicles on the world’s roads reached 2 million last year, doubling from the 1 million EVs that were on roads just a year prior in 2015.
This data comes via a new International Energy Agency report entitled Global EV Outlook 2017. While the report’s findings indicate a growing consumer interest in EVs, the market share they hold remains paltry. Just 0.2 percent of new light-duty passenger cars sold are EVs, but consumers aren’t shying away from them because they prefer internal combustion engines.
One of the reasons the IEA thinks consumers haven’t entirely warmed up to EVs is due to cost. The relatively small amount of electric vehicles sold makes them an almost specialized product, which contributes toward higher battery and development costs and thus a higher showroom price. The costs associated with EV development are dipping, however, and once EV costs are even with those of an ICE engine, the real EV boom may begin.
The report says there is a “good chance” that the number of electric vehicles on the road could grow to between 9 million and 20 million by 2020 and between 40 and 70 million by 2025. Even then, though, that wouldn’t be enough to put a dent in the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the world’s ICE cars, the report indicates.
“They have a long way to go before reaching numbers capable of making a significant contribution to greenhouse gas emission reduction targets,” the IEA said in the report. “In order to limit temperature increases to below 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, the number of electric cars will need to reach 600 million by 2040.”
That sounds like a tall order, but with many automakers preparing to release more EVs in the coming years, it shouldn’t be hard to boost EV sales exponentially. Additionally, 95 percent of electric cars sold today are bought by just 10 countries. As China continues to buy up more EVs and developing countries start to get in on the trend, the idea of having more than half a billion EVs on the road doesn’t seem so far-fetched.