Task 18, EV Ecosystems, publishes an outlook on the future of EV markets

October 18, 2013 11:10 AM
Task_18_Future_of_Markets_for_EVs - small
Future of Markets for Electric Vehicles.
© Image courtesy of IA-HEV Task 18.


In April 2013, Task 18 published a report on the results from a roadmapping workshop held in Vienna in December 2012 entitled Future of Markets for Electric Vehicles: Expectations, Constraints & Long-Term Strategies. This report may be downloaded from the Task 18: EV Ecosystems page.

During the Vienna workshop, participants identified and ranked by priority a list of barriers to electric vehicle (EV) markets. In their opinion, high EV purchase costs and a lack of suitable business models for the provision of vehicles and charging infrastructure are the main factors that will impact EV adoption.

Breakout groups in the workshop then developed three scenarios that considered the future development of markets for EVs, identifying “best,” “worst,” and “probable” cases. A roadmapping approach was used to structure key issues into different time horizons and to establish links between developments in markets, products, services, technologies, and the necessary underpinning resources.

The three scenarios developed highlight the consequences of failing to address the factors identified in the analysis of priority barriers. For example, the best-case and probable-case scenarios predict that EVs will eventually reach cost parity with internal combustion engine vehicles. However, this does not happen in the worst-case scenario. Furthermore, the worst-case scenario highlights two dangers: failing to address consumer concerns about the residual value of EVs and failing to educate consumers to value whole-life costs of a vehicle that include purchase price and operating costs.

Each scenario draws attention to the importance of communication and education activities to increase levels of knowledge and understanding among the general public. A key lesson that can be drawn from the scenarios is that it is far from certain that EVs will achieve mainstream market acceptance.

The scale and rate of adoption of EVs are subject to a number of factors, some of which are outside the direct control of industry and policymakers. Nevertheless, the analysis undertaken in the Task 18 workshop does provide a structured way to evaluate these issues and offers insights into the factors that may have the biggest influence in supporting future markets for EVs.

Task 18 workshop in Berlin in May 2013

Task 18 also held a workshop to discuss technologies and interfaces for EV ecosystems in Berlin, Germany, in late May in conjunction with a conference on electric mobility sponsored by the German Federal Government. Participants engaged in discussions at two roundtables. The first roundtable covered the development of technologies and interfaces for the electrification of road transport, with researchers from Siemens, Johnson Controls, Inc., and Argonne National Laboratory (U.S.) presenting. The second roundtable addressed best practices for EV ecosystems, with presentations from city officials from Barcelona, Stuttgart, and Amsterdam.

Contributed by David Beeton
Task 18 Operating Agent