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Electric Vehicle Sales in 2021 to Be Five Times Higher than in 2015, Study Says

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The growth of the electric vehicle market continues to be held back by numerous factors, including the lack of infrastructure, range anxiety, and cost, but a recent study suggests that global sales will see a dramatic rise in a couple of years.

According to a new report by ABI Research, a leading technology market intelligence firm, sales of electric vehicles worldwide will jump fivefold by 2021, thanks to a series of factors contributing to increased demand in various regions across the globe.

Alternative Transportation Options and Pollution

The ABI Research report that focuses on the rise of smart mobility, states that global annual sales of electric vehicles will reach $58 billion by 2021, marking a 5-time increase over 2015. Researchers say that this rise in EV revenue will be due to increased traffic congestion in some of the largest cities around the world, along with higher air pollution levels, further boosting demand for alternative fuel vehicles.


“The role of vehicle electrication in urban areas is part of a broader smart mobility model that includes shared vehicles, charging options, and driverless electric vehicle fleets of cars, buses, trams, and light rail,” says Susan Beardslee, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “No singular option prevails; in fact, innovative manufacturers are creating ways for them to converge.”


ABI Research says that the increased proliferation of personal EVs, such as three-wheeled vehicles and electric bikes, will contribute to the the rise in global electric vehicle revenue. The report notes Ford's and BMW's electric bike projects, developing compact bikes that can be stored in a car's trunk, as great tools for resolving the “last-mile problem” and ensuring zero-emission commutes.


China's EV Market to Boom


ABI's report notes that the global EV sales growth will be in large part a result of the increased demand for electric vehicles in China, where authorities invest a lot of time and resources to put the necessary supporting infrastructure in place and encourage consumers to switch from gasoline-powered vehicles to plug-ins. The United States, for its part, is expected to catch up over time, with automakers offering a wider range of EV models at more affordable prices, and with ride-sharing companies including more electric vehicles in their fleets.


“The U.S. is taking longer to embrace the trend, though, with many residents expressing hesitation to let go of their private, singular vehicles as we move toward a shared, smart mobility transportation model,” continues Beardslee. “Once the price point of electric vehicles starts to drop, as evident with Tesla’s Model 3 and the forthcoming Chevy Bolt, and manufacturers address range anxiety, we believe that the U.S. market will see a jump in its sales. Over time, we expect greater adoption through fleet purchases including Uber and Lyft.”