Electric Vehicles to Outsell Others by 2033:Study

Chris Teague | Jun 28, 2021

Despite their popularity in the media, electric vehicles (EVs) haven’t grabbed the same foothold on car buyers’ shopping lists in the United States. Even with steady and significant sales growth in recent years, EVs still make up a single-digit percentage of vehicles sold in the U.S., though a new study from Ernst & Young LLP (EY) sees a significant shift coming in the not-so-distant future.

EVs to Lead Auto Sales by 2033

The consulting firm released a new study that found EVs will outsell their fossil-fuel-burning counterparts within the next 12 years. In Europe and China, where environmental regulations and restrictions on new-vehicle manufacturing have been in place for some time, EY expects EVs to be at the forefront of demand. In its study, EY predicts that EVs will be the top-selling vehicles in Europe by 2028 and in China by 2033.

In the United States, EVs face a steeper hill. Here, EY expects that it will take until 2036 for electric vehicles to overtake sales of other cars. That’s due in part to a loosening of regulations around fuel economy that has taken place in recent years that has propped up sales of vehicles with internal combustion engines. However, EY expects that a decisive shift in the opposite direction by the Biden administration will accelerate EVs’ growth. The administration has proposed billions in spending to propel that growth, and President Biden’s move to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord is a sign that the tides are turning in EVs’ favor.

By 2045, EY’s models predict that non-EVs will make up less than one percent of the worldwide auto market. Randy Miller, global advanced manufacturing and mobility leader at EY, credits the appeal of new models for pushing consumers down the road to EVs. In addition, he notes that attractive new models and government incentives play prominent roles in EY’s prediction of EV domination.

Currently, the federal government offers tax credits of up to $7,500 to buyers of eligible electric vehicles, and many states have followed suit with varying incentives of their own. As people became understandably skeptical of public transportation during the coronavirus pandemic, cars became a much more attractive option. Millennials turned to vehicle ownership to avoid crowded public spaces, and EY finds that 30 percent of them want EVs.

Ernst & Young is the source of information for this article. It was accurate on June 28, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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