The EV Roadmap – SME

July 25, 2022 by No Comments

The automotive industry has undergone numerous changes and challenges over the past few years. One area that continues to evolve is the move toward electrification. In 2021, sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States more than doubled to surpass half a million units, but the industry still faces many challenges as it transitions to EVs. Geopolitical strife, semiconductor shortages, limited charging infrastructure, and increased battery and raw material demand are among the barriers to wider EV adoption.

Current Market

EVs experienced substantial growth in 2021 as their global market share climbed to 11.9 percent of the light-vehicle market, demonstrating a clear acceleration in adoption. EVs saw a massive increase in sales in all segments in 2021. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) experienced the most significant sales percent change with a rise of 65.3 percent, followed by battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with a 63.8 percent increase.

Fuel cell and hybrid models saw the least growth in 2021, albeit still strong, with 40.7 percent and 37.4 percent increases, respectively. This growth comes despite challenges that have plagued the automotive industry over the last three years, including the global pandemic and supply chain bottlenecks due to semiconductor shortages.

Some 2022 and 2023 projections now show that the Ukraine war and semiconductor shortages are expected to reduce global production by more than 5 million vehicles. The duration and severity of these disruptions are unknown due to the dynamic nature of the conflict, but, given their reliance on semiconductors and processors, EV production will certainly be negatively impacted.

Government policies and incentives have been one of the main driving forces for global EV markets, but the growth in 2021 also shows a very active year on the part of the automotive industry. In 2020 and 2021, many countries—and automakers around the world—set targets to phase out sales of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles within the next two decades.

In August 2021, the Biden administration set a target for 50 percent of new car sales to be emissions-free by 2030. President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure package includes $7.5 billion toward a nationwide network of 500,000 EV charging stations by 2030 to increase consumer confidence. Despite government incentives and record sales, the EV market still faces many challenges.

EV Jobs

Automotive manufacturing employment is still lagging behind pre-pandemic employment levels. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, motor vehicle and parts manufacturing employment prior to the pandemic stood at 831,200 at the end of 2019 and at 794,500 at the end of 2021.

In addition to reduced production volumes, a persistent labor shortage is also driving these statistics. As the automotive industry transitions to include more EVs, there are many considerations in how workers and the employment landscape will be impacted.

One concern is that EVs have substantially fewer parts than ICEs and require about 30 percent less labor to manufacture, according to recent estimates.

The industry can offset the projected job losses by increasing the proportion of vehicle parts manufactured domestically and selling more vehicles assembled in the U.S. The evolution towards electrification will also require workers to possess new and emerging skill sets. The automotive industry will need to support workers as they adapt to meet the demand of the EV market to ensure that they remain competitive with Europe and China, where governments are helping their domestic automakers accelerate the transition and stay ahead of demand.

Infrastructure

As automakers ramp up EV production, spurred by the U.S. government’s electrification targets, the lack of charging infrastructure will continue to be an obstacle for the EV …….

Source: https://www.sme.org/technologies/articles/2022/july/the-ev-roadmap/

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