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City A.M

City A.M

CityAM.com is the online presence of City A.M., London's first free daily business newspaper. Both platforms cover financial and business news as well as sport and…

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The Electric Vehicle Charging Market Could Be Worth As Much As $1.6 Trillion

  • Electric vehicle sales have soared by 160% over the past year, and the trend is showing no sign of slowing. 
  • More than 300 million new EV charging ports will be required globally by 2040, up from fewer than six million today.
  • The electric vehicle charging market is expected to be valued at as much as $1.6 trillion in the coming years.

Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have been remarkably strong recently. In the 12 months to June 2021, sales of EVs were more than 160% higher than in the same period a year earlier and were up by more than 130% in the comparable period in 2019 (according to BNEF data). 

So, although the transition to EVs is truly underway, this is just the beginning and there is a lot further to go. In the UK, for example, EVs accounted for 11% of total passenger vehicle sales last year. However, that share will have to rise to 100% in fewer than nine years if the target to ban sales of new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2030 is to be met.

On the commercial vehicle side, more and more companies are committing to ambitious decarbonization targets, which means emissions from commercial vehicle fleets are coming under scrutiny. The 111 members of the ‘EV100’ group, which includes companies such as Tesco and Ikea, have committed to switch their fleets to EVs and/or install charging for staff and/or customers by 2030.

In addition to these policies and target tailwinds, the economics of EVs continue to improve as the industry expands. Indeed, EVs are expected to become cheaper than ICE vehicles within the next few years. This will be an important tipping point for the market which will further accelerate the transition.

How big could the EV charging market be?

According to estimates by Bloomberg, more than 300 million new EV charging ports (across residential, public, fast charging and fleet) will be required globally by 2040, up from fewer than six million today. The enormous volume of chargers required to support the shift to EVs (both passenger and commercial), means this is expected to remain a growth market until around 2035, when investment in charging infrastructure peaks.

Related: Biden's Bid To Lower Oil Prices Fails

Under Bloomberg’s more ambitious growth scenario, more than 500 million chargers would be required globally by 2040, representing almost $1.6 trillion of cumulative investment in EV charging infrastructure.

What are the opportunities and challenges?

Until recently, it has been difficult for equity investors to directly access the EV charging theme: either because the companies were private, or because small EV charging businesses were tucked away in larger, diversified companies.

However, a raft of EV charging companies have gone public in the past 12 months, often via special purpose acquisition vehicles (SPACs). Consequently, the opportunities for investors have expanded considerably.   

While the proliferation of well-funded EV charging companies bodes well for the industry’s ability to support the energy transition, it also raises a pressing question from an investment perspective. With so many companies jostling for a piece of the action, will competition prevent these companies from achieving decent returns?

What does this mean for investors?

Many of these companies may be able to continue to do well in the short term as the EV charging sector continues to expand rapidly. In the long term, however, the gap between those companies which have managed to create real customer retention (for example, through selling software subscriptions) and those whose business model is focused primarily on selling the charging hardware or electricity, may become more apparent.

Investors who remember the evolution of the solar manufacturing industry over the last 10 years will be all too familiar with the idea that a market can grow rapidly while delivering poor returns to shareholders. As investors in climate change, our role is to look beyond the eye-catching growth numbers and seek out those companies with durable long-term competitive advantages. 

By City AM

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Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on November 27 2021 said:
    The eternal question is how the expansion in global electricity generation to charge the supposedly millions of EVs that will be on the roads in coming years be sourced: Will it be solar, nuclear or hydrocarbons?

    Solar energy can’t satisfy the global demand for electricity because of its intermittent nature whilst nuclear energy is losing favour around the world. Therefore, natural gas, coal and to some extent nuclear energy will have to undertake the global electricity expansion at a cost estimated at multitrillion dollars. To this could be added an EV charging market of $1.6 trillion according to estimates by Bloomberg. This isn’t worth the candle.

    And despite the media hype on daily basis for the last 20 years, only 10.2 million EVs are on the roads compared with 2.0 billion ICEs.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • Kay Uwe Boehm on November 28 2021 said:
    The EV market is still high subsidy dependant and limited from lithium price akready 4 times higher in 2021. EV only reducing carbon if carbon free electricity surplus available like in before in norway from water power.
  • Miami Mike on December 11 2021 said:
    There are significant savings with electric cars well beyond gasoline. No radiators, no anti-freeze, no mufflers, no (theft prone) catalytic converters, no fan belts, no water pumps, no oil leaks, no pollution from non-existent tailpipes, much quieter, smoother and simpler than gasoline engines.

    Also, no oil derricks, no leaky supertankers, no dangerous, dirty refineries, no tractor-trailers to distribute the fuel, no leaky tanks at gas stations, it is far more than just the car.

    All the major automakers, every one of them, is building electric vehicles. Ford alone has 200,000 reservations just for the electric F150 already, and they aren&#039;t taking more reservations.

    Gasoline powered cars are going the way of horse-drawn buggies, electric cars are THAT much better. You can bet that companies will be scrambling to meet the demand to charging stations and power distribution, it is a lucrative and fast-growing market.

    In twenty years, people will look at gasoline powered cars and say &quot;People rode around in THOSE?&quot; You can either go with progress or you can get flattened by it - your choice.

Leave a comment




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