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BNEF forecasts EVs to be 35% of global new car sales by 2040; cost of ownership below conventional-fuel vehicles by 2025

A new study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) forecasts that sales of electric vehicles will hit 41 million by 2040, representing 35% of new light duty vehicle sales worldwide. This would be almost 90 times the equivalent figure for 2015, when EV sales are estimated to have been 462,000, some 60% up on 2014.

Driving the sales increase is a forecast significant reduction in battery prices—the result being that during the 2020s EVs will become a more economic option than gasoline or diesel cars in most countries. BNEF will discuss its EV forecast in detail at its upcoming annual BNEF Summit in New York in April.


The projected change between now and 2040 will have implications beyond the car market. The research estimates that the growth of EVs will mean they represent a quarter of the cars on the road by that date, displacing 13 million barrels per day of crude oil but using 1,900 TWh of electricity. This would be equivalent to nearly 8% of global electricity demand in 2015.

At the core of this forecast is the work we have done on EV battery prices. Lithium-ion battery costs have already dropped by 65% since 2010, reaching $350 per kWh last year. We expect EV battery costs to be well below $120 per kWh by 2030, and to fall further after that as new chemistries come in.

—Colin McKerracher, lead advanced transportation analyst at BNEF


According to Salim Morsy, senior analyst and author of the study, the central forecast is based on the crude oil price recovering to $50/barrel, and then trending back up to $70 or higher by 2040. Should fall to $20/barrel and remain there, it would delay mass adoption of EVs only to the early 2030s, according to the BNEF analysis.

The electric vehicle market at present is heavily dependent on early adopters keen to try out new technology or reduce their emissions, and on government incentives offered in markets such as China, Netherlands and Norway. Although some 1.3 million EVs have now been sold worldwide and 2015 saw strong growth, they still represented less than 1% of light duty vehicle sales last year.

The study’s calculations on total cost of ownership show BEVs becoming cheaper on an unsubsidized basis than internal combustion engine cars by the mid-2020s, even if the latter continue to improve their average mileage per gallon by 3.5% per year. It assumes that a BEV with a 60 kWh battery will travel 200 miles between charges. The first generation of these long-range, mid-priced BEVs is set to hit the market in the next 18 months with the launch of the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3.

In the next few years, the total-cost-of-ownership advantage will continue to lie with conventional cars, and we therefore do not expect EVs to exceed 5% of light duty vehicle sales in most markets—except where subsidies make up the difference. However, that cost comparison is set to change radically in the 2020s.

—Salim Morsy



For BEVs to take a much larger share of the market, new light weight 120 kWh to 160 kWh battery packs, at less than $100/kWh, have to become available.

An complementary alternative would be lower cost extended range FCEVs.

Both, very quick charge (under 10 minutes) e-charging facilities and H2 station networks have to be built.

Government subsidies or loans ($1+T for USA) will be required for those stations. Most of those subsidies/loans could be recovered with a carbon tax or a sale tax on polluting fuels over 15 to 20 years.

Meanwhile, automakers are actually producing and selling PHEVs and 100 mile BEVs that hundreds of thousands of people find quite serviceable.

Completely left out of the analysis is the ZEV mandate, which doubles in 2018 and will ratchet up every year thereafter to 2025.


The interesting thing is that the forecast is based on low price for oil of $150/bbl even though it has been demonstrated that advanced economies could tolerate much higher prices.


With improved ICEVs, more HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs and FCEVs + improved airplanes, Mil vehicles, ships, trucks, locomotives etc + having to solve GHG and pollution, we may not see oil at $150/bbl during our lifetime.

The current Oil glut may last many more years.



I meant to say $50/bbl


Yes, $50/bbl within 2 or 3 years is a much stronger possibility.


2040 is a long time to look ahead; and, that far out, it all becomes a calculated guess. My hope is by 2040 that all ICE cars are in museums and fossil fuel powered power plants are covered over with PVs.

I believe by then we will no longer be limited by lithium Ion batteries and the fear of danger they pose. Hopefully, by then we will have batteries that are safe, more affordable and greatly exceed the technical specs of today's current batteries. They gotta be cheaper, lighter, more powerful with much greater range and exceed the life of the car. Only the batteries are holding us back. The rest of the EV components are pretty solid and with economies of scale should have little trouble undercutting the costs of ICE cars.


Bloomberg video:


Yes Lad, improved lower cost modular batteries will help to produce limited-extended range competitive BEVs by or before 2030.

Ultra light fiber (and/or special aluminum alloy) bodies may be required to make those real all weather extended range EVs. It will also come about at a slightly higher cost.


cost of ownership
PHEVs are less of a strain on batteries, so may not need replacing as often to provide good range. The price of batteries will come down, so the annual costs could be less.


To all EV fans out there how's $13,000 per ton of pure lithium carbonate working for you? Check it out it's the new gasoline at:

No the price of lithium batteries will not come down.


The battery cost for the GM Bolt is $145 per kWh, as per an Oct. 1, 2015 GM presentation, according to this link, which also quotes a source (John McElroy) that states that it ($145) is “$100 cheaper than what anyone else is paying.”

So much for a cost of “$350 per kW last year ”. It looks like EVs will reach 35% penetration of the LDV market well before 2040.


@NorthernPiker, don't confuse Mannstein with facts. It might make his little pea-brain explode.

@mannstien, just to show you how FRIGGING STUPID you are: A Tesla battery pack with ~250miles of range has about 8gm of Lithium in it. So let's do some math!!!!

.008*$13,000 = $104 !!! Yes, that's right...the Lithium component of the Tesla battery is about $100. LMAO

Can you BE any frigging dumber? Don't answer that.



When I first saw Mannstein's comment I didn't bother to work out the math, but I did check historical prices and it appears the price of lithium carbonate has almost doubled in the past few months and that tells me that demand must be ramping up which seems to be a clear indicator that we can expect a surge in battery production and demand. High prices for lithium will probably curb that growth somewhat, however, the figures on world production and reserves suggest to me that prices will eventually stabilize. I'm sure there are more than a few miners out there looking for a product to supply with growth potential and a few billion dollars of venture capital willing to take a chance on a lithium mine if the market appears to be ready to explode.

I didn't concern myself with cost per battery until I saw your comments. The info I was able to find seems unreliable, but one source says 8 grams per 100 wh so that works out to about 48 kg per 60 kwh pack. I found an article in Forbes that indicates it takes about 4 kg of lithium carbonate to yield 1 kg of lithium metal. So assuming you need 192 kg (48 x 4) of lithium carbonate to make the battery and LCO costs $13 / kg the cost would be about $2500 compared with $1250 before the price run-up. That probably wouldn't stop production?

The big news to me is that there are buyers out there willing to pay the double price.


I don't think lithium is even 10% the cost of the cell.


@Calgary, you're right...that's what I get for doing that stuff quick on a cell phone. But mannstein is such an irritating jerkoff that it's hard to not just react without thinking LOL

The point is that GM and Tesla are both getting their battery packs down to ~$150/kWh so he can say stupid, hysterical crap all he wants. It doesn't change reality.


@ DaveD

Based on your name calling and personal attacks you're the hysterical one on this forum. When the global demand for lithium increases in the future the cost is most likely to increase. This development will lead to a monopolization of the industry. You will be substituting big oil for big lithium.

All the yelling on your part will be in vain.

There is a price ceiling on lithium, as it can be cost-effectively extracted from seawater. There are also large un-mined deposits in the US. It is even being mined as a byproduct of geothermal operations in southern California.

Short term there may be some price spikes, as there often are with mined minerals as supply balances and traders try to distort the market.

It isn't platinum, folks.


It's about 1kg Li2CO3 per kWh, which puts a 60kWh Model S at about 60kg or about $450 per battery.

I know of one lithium mine coming online next month, enough for 15GWh, another that will complete it's DFS this month and therefore start construction by mid year, probably enough for another 25GWh. Another doing a PFS by Christmas, so production of 20GWh in 2018.

Lithium isn't going to the moon, but it's not going crumble either.

As for Harvey and Fuel cells. It's over bro, let them die.


FCs may have 5 to 10 of catching up to do but by 2025 or so they will be mass produced in various sizes.

With more REs being brought on line, H2 production, storage and (some) re-use to cover peak grid demands will become a strong possibility.

Smaller FCs will find their way into FCEVs.

Uncompressed H2 into smaller plug-in tanks will give most FCEVs 600+ Km range. Larger vehicles will use more or larger FCs and larger or more plug-in H2 tanks.

Of course, BEVs will continue to exist for good weather short and medium e-range vehicles. Improved PHEVs will capture a larger share of the market, specially in areas with colder winters.

Harvey, what compelling competitive advantage do FCVs have over PHEVs with good AER 50-80 miles)?


I get that you think that Harvey. I just have no reason to agree with you.


Noting very wrong with 50 to 80 e-miles PHEVs. It may one of the best all weather solution for the next 10 years or so, but they produce a lot of GHG/pollution and use liquid fuels on longer trips.

Post 2025 extended range electrified vehicles market will probably be mainly composed of BEVs and FCEVs.

FCEVs may become cheaper for extended range all weather operations.

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