Reports reveal breadth and benefits of electric vehicle market growth

Two separate reports released today (9 March) have shed light on the expected upsurge in electric vehicle (EV) demand, and the multitude of benefits that this market growth will bring to the UK's environment, economy and health.

The first report, by technology market analyst BCC Research, charts the expected growth of the global EV market until 2019, while a second report from Cambridge Econometrics outlines how such growth would boost the UK economy, reduce national emissions and therefore lessen effects on human health. 

Global growth

The data from BCC Research reveals that the global EV market grew from $58.6bn in 2013 to $73bn in 2014. Looking forward, the firm expects the global electric vehicle market to have increased by $36.8bn by 2019 – an 8.5% year-on-year increase, resulting in a global market worth $109.8bn. 

BCC Research expects to see such growth as the foundations for wider electric vehicle use have been established by well-financed private and government-backed plans for large-scale EV rollouts.  

It also expects the market for fuel cell-powered vehicles, such as advanced lithium-ion and lithium-ion polymer cells, to rapidly expand as the general EV market increases. Currently, much of the global electric vehicle market still uses lead-acid batteries.

UK benefits

Meanwhile, the second report from Cambridge Econometrics states that the growing EV market will cause spending on petrol and diesel to fall by 40% in Britain by 2030, reducing the national fuel bill by £13bn to £20bn.

Fuelling a new low-carbon car could be £600 less per year than for an average car today, saving £1,000 on an annual fuel bill, the report states. And advances in engine efficiency, lighter construction materials, more efficient tyres and the gradual introduction of electric propulsion will reduce energy costs even further.

The savings would be partially offset by the cost of new technologies, but the running costs would be $5-7bn lower, depending on the oil price.

Transitioning to lower emission vehicles in the UK would also could cut CO2 emissions by 47% by 2030, and up to 80% in 2050. The improved air quality would then result in a health benefit worth up to £1.2bn to the UK economy as the reduction in air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulates would reduce the incidence of respiratory disease, according to the report. 

‘Winning combination’

Commenting on the UK report’s findings, Nissan’s global chief marketability engineer Jerry Hardcastle said: “The report clearly demonstrates how battery electric vehicles will continue to positively contribute to the UK economy. Over time it is becoming clear that each battery EV is an investment in public health as it will also enable the necessary air quality improvements in urban environments.”

Andy Eastlake, managing director at the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, added: “This shows how, with consistently-applied policy focused on cutting emissions, we can continue to provide benefits for motorists, for the industry and, ultimately, for the UK economy and our environment – a truly winning combination.”

The Cambridge Econometrics report is being launched at a Parliamentary event later today. To coincide with the launch, eight specialist companies who are innovators in low carbon transport will be showcased at the same event. The small and medium-sized British companies provide examples of low-carbon fuels, vehicle and component technology and operational innovation.

Lucinda Dann

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie