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American and Chinese consumers are head over heels for SUVs — a mutual love affair that seems likely to expand in the coming years into growing demand for electric SUVs, according to a new report.

Expand chart
Data: Bloomberg New Energy Finance; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Quick take: By 2022, Chinese demand for electric cars will triple, and the largest bloc — 39% — will be SUVs and crossovers, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a research firm. Americans will buy more than twice as many electrics as they currently do, and 52% of them will be SUVs and crossovers.

Why it matters: Electric car skeptics cite relatively low current demand as evidence that battery-propelled vehicles are unlikely to break out of their niche any time soon. But the new forecast suggests why they can — because they will fall neatly into the current of existing mobility fashion.

  • SUVs lead vehicle sales, accounting for 42% of all U.S. demand last year and 39% of China's.

The report forecasts an overall boom in EV demand through 2040, led by a surge in the number of electric models on offer, especially from the German automakers but also Tesla, said Salim Morsy, the report's main author. SUVs will be the main driver of that demand, Morsy tells Axios.

  • The major automakers will release 65 new electric models through 2022.
  • Demand will be led by ultra-stylish and luxury SUVs and crossovers like the Audi e-tron, the Jaguar I-PACE, the BMW iX3, the Ford Mach 1, and Tesla's coming Model Y, Morsy said.
  • The German carmakers are being especially aggressive. VW alone plans to release about 80 electric models by 2025, BMW has announced 47, and Daimler 10.

By the numbers: Here are the report's projections for electric sales for 2018-2022.

  • U.S.: 314,000 electric vehicles will be sold this year, a 61% jump over last year's sales. In 2022, the number will more than double to 853,000. Sedans will be in far less demand than SUVs — just 24% of all sales.
  • China: Consumers will buy 750,000 electrics in 2018, and 2.5 million in 2022. Sedans will be just 9% of sales, with compacts and subcompacts making up most of the rest.

Go deeper

FBI, Homeland Security warn of increasing threat to Capitol

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security predict violent domestic extremists attacks will increase in 2021, according to a report reviewed by Axios.

Driving the news: The joint report says an unidentified group of extremists discussed plans to take control of the Capitol and "remove Democratic lawmakers" on or about March 4. The House canceled its plans for Thursday votes as word of the possible threats spread.

20 mins ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).

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