One percent per year until 2050—that’s the prediction by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) for light-duty electric vehicles. From 2020 to 2050, the segment is expected to explode from today’s 0.7% to 31% by 2050 for a whopping 672 million fleet EVs on the road.
The EIA estimates that today’s global LDV fleet (gas and electric) is about 1.31 billion vehicles strong, and that this number should grow to roughly 2.21 billion vehicles by 2050 due to increasing economic activity, population growth, and the expansion of private mobility options.
It also predicts that the global gas and diesel LDV fleet will hit its apex in 2038 as the result of significant EV sales growth.
The EIA defines LDVs as, “passenger and fleet cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or less.” It defines electric vehicles as any LDV with a charging plug, and that definition includes all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
It's important to remember that these projections are based on current technological and policy trends and drawn from that data set; if nothing changes drastically from this data, then the EIA predictions should remain relatively stable. There’s no doubt that the rise of EVs will occur in the 2020s, but just what occurs under the hoods (and on the roads) of the world’s countries with large automotive markets remains to be seen. China remains the largest global automotive market for all sales while Norway has more electric cars per capita than any other country, with EVs making up almost 75% of new car sales in 2020.