Electric Vehicles: A Deep Dive into the Technology that is the Future of the Auto Industry

Almost conclusively now, electric vehicles appear to have won the power train argument in the automotive industry and car manufacturers from all over the world have made significant promises to deliver only hybrid and electric vehicles in the future.

Key Questions Answered:

– What are the most important EV models on sale?

– What companies are going to become dominant?

– Why are hybrids so important in EV tech?

– What does the future of the industry look like?

– What do governments need to do to encourage growth?

– How far away are we from the expected EV boom?


From automotive shows to the world’s cities, new models and ideas are being tested and the general public whilst being broadly reticent at first, is now beginning to accept the idea of battery powered chargeable vehicles. Whilst the industry waits for consumer adoption levels to really boom, manufacturers are gearing up for a serious fight to establish a position in what will undoubtedly become the main automotive market.

There is a new heavy demand for the rare earth materials that electric vehicles need and some concerns about the environmental implications of replacing the global fleet with this technology.

Despite the very ambitious targets that have been set by governments and automotive manufacturers all over the world, how to transition the global fleet onto electric vehicles is still very far from being clear.

Reasons to buy


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Executive Summary 2

Electric vehicles: Market leaders will constantly change 2

Electric vehicles: Infrastructure is one of the biggest problems to solve 2

Hybrid cars represent immediate future of electric vehicles 2

Among enthusiasm for electric vehicles lurks threats to future development 3

China due to cement dominant position in EV global market 3

Electric vehicles: the market leaders will constantly change 8

EV sales have been growing well but will soon explode 8

The leaders have typically taken big risks to get where they are 9

The position of the previous market leaders is looking increasingly precarious 10

Nissan’s Leaf perhaps wasn’t as desirable as it was hoped 11

Tesla is suffering under the burden of mass manufacturing 11

Tesla is being challenged by new and powerful market entrants 12

The scariest new entrants of all will be from China 13

Electric vehicles: Infrastructure is one of the biggest problems to solve 14

Implementing a global infrastructure is going to be very difficult 14

Infrastructure is going to be a huge problem in the UK 15

Each country’s charging needs are different and there is no one solution 16

Ubitricity’s lamp post charging idea might really help in dense European cities 17

Battery Swapping is a technology that has been explored but recently fallen away 18

Petrol service stations have been identified as a key way that EV fleets could be charged 19

Inductive road charging is likely an extremely expensive option 20

Smart Grids will need to be implemented quickly and on a huge scale 21

Hybrid cars represent immediate future of electric vehicles 22

Hybrid vehicle technology development is beating development in both petrol and electric 22

Plug-in hybrid technology is middle ground in race to mass production electric vehicles 23

Advances in hybrid powertrains contrast electric vehicles in state of readiness 24

Hybrid energy well placed to take advantage of industry need to reduce fuel costs 25

threats to future development could harm EV enthusiasm 27

Dependence on China for rare earth elements is causing leading companies to search for alternatives 27

Environmental impact of electric vehicles is still substantial - improvements need to be made 28

Internal combustion development is not dead and could yet be around for decades to come 29

Failure to create a coherent used electric car market is holding back widespread take-up 30

China due to cement dominant position in EV global market 32

Chinese market is dominant and is expected to become bigger 32

Chinese government rules are propelling domestic development but are not without problems 33

Changing rules on foreign involvement will help China develop new generation of electric vehicles 34

Race for raw materials is led by China, granting a substantial global competitive advantage 34

Helped by leading status in EVs, China could become leading car exporter 36

Key Findings 38

Appendix 39

Further Reading 39

Sources 39

Ask the analyst 40

About MarketLine 40

Disclaimer 40

List of Tables

List of Tables

Table 1: January 2018 top ten EVs and sales volumes in US, Europe and China 10

Table 2: Total global sales of electric vehicles 2009 to 2016 31

Table 3: Top ten countries by number of EVs sold in 2016 32

List of Figures

List of Figures

Figure 1: Global hybrid and electric vehicle market value 2016-2021 forecast 8

Figure 2: EV sales UK 2015-2018 9

Figure 3: Second generation Nissan Leaf 11

Figure 4: Tesla’s Model 3 12

Figure 5: Average number of chargers in the top five European EV markets 14

Figure 6: Charging infrastructure in the UK 2011-2017 15

Figure 7: EV infrastructure UK drivers using public networks 16

Figure 8: Ubitricity’s lamp post charging station 17

Figure 9: Now defunct Better Place battery swap station 18

Figure 10: Shell Recharge located at a gasoline refueling station 19

Figure 11: Imagined UK charge lane for EVs 20

Figure 12: Global hybrid car sales 2009 to 2016 (millions) 22

Figure 13: BMW 330e 23

Figure 14: McLaren P1 25

Figure 15: Volvo FE Hybrid 26

Figure 16: Global precious metal production 2010 to 2016 (tons) 27

Figure 17: Toyota Prius 28

Figure 18: Mazda Skyactiv X engine simulation 30

Figure 19: National People’s Congress, 2018 33

Figure 20: Mutanda mine, Katanga province, Democratic Republic of Congo 35

Figure 21: Trumpchi GS4 EV 36


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