Jan 19, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Analysts: Electric vehicle sales slated for 2022 surge

Graph showing passenger electric vehicle sales.
Data: BloombergNEF, MarkLines, Jato, JADA, Motie; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Global sales of electric passenger vehicles are projected to surpass 10.5 million this year, about 4 million above 2021 levels, as the tech grows more mainstream, the research firm BloombergNEF said in a new report.

Driving the news: Its 2022 outlook for battery-electric and plug-in hybrids sees a number of forces rowing in the same direction.

  • There are more models on the market, tougher climate policies, fleet purchases, automakers pushing cars with a plug, and other factors.

Why it matters: While noting policy is important, the analysis also states, "the passenger EV market is shifting from one driven by policy to one driven by organic consumer demand."

Zoom in: Here are a few other takeaways from the 2022 outlook...

  • China remains the biggest market and is projected to account for over half of global sales this year, with Europe around 30% and the U.S. the third-largest market.
  • The market for commercial-use electric delivery vans and trucks is growing. Bloomberg sees a 75% increase in zero-emissions sales this year.

Yes, but: "The surge in EV demand is putting unprecedented pressure on supply chains, and we expect prices for raw materials like lithium and nickel to remain high."

What we're watching: Congress. The push by Democrats to greatly expand consumer purchase incentives is stuck as the wider social spending and climate package lacks enough Senate votes.

  • BloombergNEF calls the outlook "murky" but predicts something will get through.
  • The full $7,500 credit is currently capped at 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer. Tesla and GM have already hit the cap.
  • BloombergNEF sees Toyota, Ford and perhaps Nissan hitting the cap this year.
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