The global population of plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) is expected to reach 8.5 million by the end of 2019, according to EV Volumes, with an addition of 3.1 million passenger and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) this year, an increase of 57%.
This is a slower pace of growth than the 64% seen in 2017, reflecting an overall weaker Chinese car market, where sales of passenger cars have declined for 10 months in a row, although PHEVs continue to outperform. PHEVs made up 4.3% of all new passenger car and LCV sales in China last year and the China Passenger Car Association forecasts sales of 1.7 million units this year.
EV Volumes put the number of medium and heavy-duty EVs (HDEVs) on the world’s roads in 2018 at 600,000, an increase of 120,000 from 2017. They expect the fleet to grow by 140,000 over 2019 to 740,000. Most of these vehicles are urban and suburban buses, with the remainder being mainly garbage trucks, road sweepers and other municipal vehicles.
In terms of displaced oil demand, HDEVs remain more significant than LDEVs because they are used much more intensively and replace vehicles with much lower fuel efficiency, but this looks set to change.
At end-2018, global EV oil demand displacement was about 272,000 b/d, of which about 60% could be attributed to HDEVs. The growth pattern for HDEVs shows a sharper decline than LDVs from a very short exponential period above 200% in 2016 to 55% in 2017, 25% in 2018 and…