Twenty-three nations across the globe have reached the critical 5% electric vehicle adoption rate that signals the start of mass adoption. Data shows that countries reaching this tipping point of adoption are seeing accelerated rates of electric vehicle adoption, including 55% growth in median EV sales in the last quarter compared to 2022.
Transitioning to electric vehicles was never going to be an easy task. Conventional petrol and diesel-powered cars have been around for more than a century and are the most dominant form of transport around the world. Most countries in the West have also built up vast infrastructure networks to support internal combustion engine (ICE) cars.
This easy access to fueling and repair services as well as decades of use makes replacing ICE cars incredibly difficult. Electric vehicle adoption rates in many nations have remained low since the birth of the EV industry, and governments are doing all they can to encourage EV ownership in their countries, including providing subsidies and incentives to make EVs more affordable for consumers.
While the pace has been slow, data indicates that consumers are now purchasing electric cars in increasing numbers. New technologies usually go through a growth curve that starts slow before accelerating as populations become more accustomed to the new tech. For instance, microwave ovens took around 20 years to go from lukewarm sales reaching an estimated one-tenth of American households to reaching almost every U.S. home in the 1980s.
Bloomberg Green analysis indicates that electric vehicles are now in the fast portion of the technology adoption curve, with 19 countries reaching the tipping point when the firm first completed the analysis last year as sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) reached 5% of new car sales. These countries included most Western European nations, China and the United States. In the months since Bloomberg Green’s 2022 analysis, Hungary, Spain, Australia, Canada and Thailand have also reached the 5% tipping point for EV adoption.
Despite recent gains in the international EV industry, electric vehicle adoption is still held back by high EV prices. The average EV is several thousand dollars more expensive than comparable ICE vehicles, pushing electric cars out of the reach of a large portion of the market.
Government incentives and subsidies have done a great job of reducing EV prices, but they will have to be even more affordable for the world to truly achieve mass EV adoption. This will also require significant investment into public charging infrastructure as well as advancements in battery technology to make battery manufacturing as sustainable as possible.
These statistics about the uptake of electric vehicles can be seen in the way models made by manufacturers such as Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) can now be found on roads in diverse locations on the different continents.
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