An industry analyst projected that battery electric vehicles will have a 10 per cent market share by 2025 and grow to 57 per cent 10 years from now.
And there’s no reason why that shouldn’t happen, according to Daniel Ross, senior automotive analyst at Canadian Black Book.
“Every OEM out there has either got plans or has EVs out there and is developing more to make it before that mandated 2035 timeframe,” he added.
He’s referring to the federal government mandate of all passenger vehicles sold in Canada being a zero-emission vehicle by the middle of the next decade.
Will consumers buy in? Yes, Ross believes so. The main reason is that vehicle range is at a level where most people feel comfortable, at about 400 km.
“The level of range across the board is pretty high,” he said. “We’re around 400-500 kilometres on most vehicles out there — 400 is the real breaking point in terms of when consideration can be had for a lot of users out there of EVs.”
People will throw out situations of wanting to make long road trips but how often do people make these trips? Nevertheless, range is expected to grow where such concerns are lessened.
“We’re at a point now where most consumers can get behind this range and see that it sustains your day-to-day life,” Ross said. “Apparently, everyone wants to go from Vancouver to Halifax all the time.
“But ultimately, [range] is still going to grow. There’s going to be cars that go above that.”
There will also be advances in battery technology that will help. But there are challenges at the moment.
While there is room for lithium-ion to grow, Ross observed, they’re a hot commodity. “The lithium fields are sort of anticipated to be in a shortage status around 2025. What’s happening is the usage of lithium for production of EVs is outpacing us finding it. And so that’s really going to become an issue.”
But there are new technologies in development. He highlighted sila nanotechnologies that are coming to the market. These are expected to balance out the anticipated deficiencies in lithium.
“So what they’re doing is increasing energy density per battery and that’s reducing our reliance on lithium per vehicle, which is going to elongate that supply, and let us get into that next generation of EVs,” Ross said. “Perhaps it might be solid state technologies or something upon us that we haven’t even heard of yet.”