top of page
Hunter Gatherer Header Image.jpg

The Rapid Evolution of Electric Vehicles: Key Developments and Myths Debunked

Electric vehicles (EVs) have been making significant strides in the automotive industry over the past few years over polluting internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. BetaShares’ Greg Liddell explores the latest developments in EV sales, pricing, and battery technology. He addresses some common myths and misinformation to help investors and vehicle users understand the speed of change.


EV sales have experienced remarkable growth. In 2023, the global sales of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) reached 14.1 million units, a 34% increase from 2022 and more than double the sales in 2021. EVs now account for over 16% of all light vehicle sales globally. This surge was primarily driven by the Chinese market, where EVs now represent 33% of sales.


North America: EV sales rose by 47% to 1.6 million units.

Europe: Sales increased by 31% to 3.3 million units.

China: The largest market with EVs representing 33% of all sales.


Battery prices, a critical factor in EV affordability, have dramatically decreased. In 2014, EV battery prices were around US$500 per kWh. By 2023, they had dropped to US$139 per kWh. The world's largest battery manufacturer, CATL, recently cut the price of its lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells by over 50%, bringing it down to just US$56.47 per kWh. This reduction is expected to significantly lower EV costs, as seen with the launch of BYD's Qin Plus EV at approximately A$23,000.


The EV industry is also experiencing rapid advancements in battery technology:


Solid-State Batteries: Toyota announced a solid-state battery with a range of 1,200 kilometers and a ten-minute charging time, expected to be ready for production by 2027.

Graphene-Based Batteries: Offering faster charging and higher energy density.

Silicon Anodes: Capable of holding ten times more lithium-ions than current graphite anodes.


Additionally, Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT) technology is being tested, enabling EVs to charge wirelessly as they drive. This technology, funded by various entities including Swinburne University of Technology and SEA Electric, could revolutionize EV infrastructure.


The heavy transport sector is increasingly embracing electric solutions. While EVs still represent less than 1% of heavy and medium truck sales globally, significant strides are being made:


US Fleets: Committed to transitioning to 30% electric vehicles by 2030.

Europe: 40% of new truck sales are expected to be electric by 2030.

China: Sold 11,500 electric heavy-duty trucks in the first half of 2023, half of which are battery-swap capable.


Debunking EV Myths

Despite their growing popularity, EVs are often subject to myths and misinformation. Here are some of the most persistent myths debunked:


Myth 1: EVs are slow and don’t handle well.

EVs offer superior acceleration due to the instantaneous torque of electric motors and have a lower center of gravity, providing better stability and handling.


Myth 2: EVs are worse for the climate than ICE vehicles.

Even when accounting for emissions from electricity generation, EVs produce lower lifetime greenhouse gas emissions compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.


Myth 3: EVs lack sufficient range for Australian conditions.

Most Australians drive less than 33 kilometers a day. Modern EVs offer ranges exceeding 300 kilometers, with some models providing over 600 kilometers on a single charge. Fast-charging infrastructure is rapidly expanding.


Myth 4: EV batteries cause fires.

EV battery fires are extremely rare. EVs are statistically less likely to catch fire than ICE vehicles.


Myth 5: EVs can’t tow.

Many EVs are capable of towing and have significant torque ideal for heavy loads. While towing reduces range, it is manageable with proper planning.


Myth 6: EVs don’t start in cold weather.

EVs can operate in cold climates, as evidenced by their popularity in Norway. Preconditioning the battery is a simple solution for cold starts.


The adoption of vehicle fuel efficiency standards will accelerate the uptake of EVs in Australia, aligning with global trends. EVs are expected to achieve price parity with ICE vehicles soon, and it’s clear that EV sales will surpass those of traditional vehicles sooner than anticipated. The future of transportation is electric, and the shift is happening faster than ever. The EV market presents significant opportunities, and staying informed about technological and market developments will be key to capitalizing on this transformative shift.


To read the full article, click here.



51 views

Comments


Microphones.jpg

Shareholder Activism

Every month, our Shareholder Activists clients and partners are involved in driving change through the boardrooms of corporate Australia - and beyond.  


Please click here to learn more about our recent campaigns.

Linkedin.png

Visit our Linkedin Page

 

Our team regularly provide commentary and updates via our Linkedin page.

Please click here to follow Ethinvest and feel free to join the conversation.

bottom of page