Jun 28, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The global march of electric vehicles

Data: Wood Mackenzie; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Wood Mackenzie; Chart: Axios Visuals

Just-released projections from the consultancy Wood Mackenzie see battery electric vehicles growing to 56% of global sales by midcentury as internal combustion models see their share greatly erode.

The big picture: It estimates there will be 875 million electric passenger vehicles and 70 million electric commercial vehicles on the roads by 2050. The latest analysis of passenger and commercial markets boosts its estimate of fully electric vehicles' share compared to even a February projection, which had it at 48%.

What they're saying: "A growing list of countries and automakers are committing to carbon neutral targets and this has completely transformed the global road transport landscape," Wood Mackenzie analyst Ram Chandrasekaran said in a statement.

Yes, but: Long-term outlooks are stuffed with uncertainties.

  • And despite rapid growth, the International Energy Agency warns that EV adoption isn't on pace to meet Paris climate agreement goals.
  • The IEA's recent analysis of what's needed to reach net-zero global emissions by 2050 would have EVs at 60% of passenger car sales by 2030(!).

What we're watching: Growing — albeit nonbinding — pledges by governments and automakers to speed up the transformation of vehicle fleets.

The latest: Reports emerged over the weekend that Volkswagen, the world's second-largest automaker, would stop making internal combustion vehicles in Europe by 2035.

Go deeper: In EV era, batteries are the new oil

Go deeper