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CMU/Yale study suggests BEVS could be majority or near-majority of cars and SUVs by 2030 given technology trends

A study by a team from Carnegie Mellon University and Yale Universitysuggests that BEVs could constitute the majority or near-majority of cars and SUVs by 2030, given widespread BEV availability and technology trends. Their open-access paper is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

A suggestive market-wide simulation extrapolation indicates that if every gasoline vehicle had a BEV option in 2030, the majority of new car and near-majority of new sport-utility vehicle choice shares could be electric in that year due to projected technology improvements alone.

—Forsythe et al.


Hypothetical market-wide simulation for model year 2020 and 2030 where all internal combustion engine and hybrid engine vehicle models have a battery electric vehicle option associated with them. Forsythe et al.

To understand mainstream consumer demand for future EVs, the team of researchers conducted consumer experiments eight years apart to determine what has driven the growth of the EV market and what it would take to increase future adoption.

They found that consumers’ preferences for vehicle attributes such as longer range and cheaper operation haven’t changed much, but that consumers are more willing to adopt EVs as technology improves. With expected range increases and price decreases, the team predicted that demand for electric cars and SUVs could be comparable to gasoline cars and SUVs by 2030.

The team includes Jeremy Michalek, a professor of mechanical engineering and engineering and public policy; Kate Whitefoot, an associate professor mechanical engineering and engineering and public policy; their Ph.D. student Connor Forsythe, and Ken Gillingham, an economics professor at Yale.

Technology has progressed rapidly in the field of EVs. In the past decade, average EV efficiency has increased by 15%, while average range has increased by about 200%. The availability of EV models on the market has improved significantly, and the price-premium has dropped over time. Amidst these trends, states such as California have adopted policies limiting the sale of new gasoline-only vehicles, and manufacturers such as General Motors have called for stronger policies promoting new EV sales.

With these factors in mind, the team first conducted a survey of more than 1,500 prospective vehicle buyers to determine what factors influence their purchasing decisions. They then compared these results to those of a similar consumer survey conducted from 2012-2013. This helped them track changes in the market over time and allowed them to project how demand will grow through 2030.

They found no statistically significant changes in consumer preferences for electric vehicles and electric vehicle attributes over this time, but estimated that the same consumer preferences would produce higher EV adoption as EVs catch up to gasoline vehicles on key attributes such as range and price.

They estimated that if technology trends continue as expected and if EVs become as ubiquitous as gasoline vehicles by 2030, car and SUV buyers will become near indifferent between the two, on average.


  • Connor R. Forsythe, Kenneth T. Gillingham, Jeremy J. Michalek, and Kate S. Whitefoot (2023) “Technology advancement is driving electric vehicle adoption” PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.2219396120



Very simplistic and unlikely a good assessment what gets people to buy, keep, and buy-again.
Possible (unsophisticated) motivations for buying a BEV: almost as cheap fuel wise to run a BEV vs ICE (both home and away); almost as convenient, with minor timing consequences, to fuel a BEV vs ICE; maintenance costs and remaining life at 10 years of a BEV vs ICE is comparable, depreciation and resell. These are controversial and even unlikely - in the near and mid-term. What is unclear is whether a hard hybrid with minimum 200 miles electric range (with double that gas or H2) can be the 'what everyone wants compromise'. Can a hard hybrid be available to meet all the above conditions with most makes and models? This is the golden chalice. Of course, there may be some negative/regulatory-over-reach issues that MAY push buyers into EV's clutches: removal of 25% urban gas stations and 50% sub-urban/ rural; oil goes above $150 and gas above $6; taxes and penalties go to more than 25% of a new ICE car price. Also, there may be beneficial EV programs that MAY push buyers into EV's clutches: rules of minimum EV chargers at multi-family residential, businesses, and retail outlets at 'capped' and off-hours prices; minimum depreciation at 10yrs and warranty covers full battery replacement up to 10 years. Otherwise, its hybrids and ICE trucks until mid-century.


@Jer - what is a "hard hybrid" ?
Do you mean a PHEV ?
IMO, a 200 mile range in a hybrid would require a 50-60 kWh battery which might as well be a BEV.
A 10-20 kWh battery would be better in my view, trending towards the small end.
Or you should be able to size your PHEV battery, and upgrade if required.
Say you have a 20 mile commute (each way), you would want say 8 kWh if you could charge at both ends.
Maybe you find this a pain and only want to charge once per day, upgrade to a 15 kWh battery.


Given cost of battery PHEV with a 60 to 120 kms range would be best for environment and individual. Most people would drive 80 percent of time in this range and there would no fuel need for most people at all. We can have four Phevs for one ev for same battery size. This way world can go electric four times faster. The day we have a sodium battery which can be at half the rate if lithium , world can go pure electric. Let us have readers your view.


hard hybrid = a full-amenities (all season, enclosed, 4 people, min. 2500lbs curb, 1000lbs tow), personal vehicle that can go several weeks without access to one type of fuel and then several weeks without the other, based on top 50% US driving requirements (more than 50 miles per day) and over 200 miles range - i.e. 2 weeks without any access to an electric receptacle - which would be then gas, diesel, H2 -- and then go two weeks with only access to an electrical receptacle such as one could charge 80% regularly (every few days) based on 50 miles per day commute - no access to gas, diesel, H2.


Current owner of 2021 ford escape PHEV. 20,000 miles at 164 mpg since birth.
Maybe put just a 1 kwh at first. Then do an analysis of the first 120 days of use.
Make recommendation for permanent battery size to install.


I currently own a 2019 Chevy Bolt. Based on my experience, I will probably never buy another fossil fuel burning vehicle again. The BEVs are only going to get better. And, no, I do not want what one of Davemart's "hard PHEVs".

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