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Project 5:
Prediction of Electric Vehicle Penetration

Objective

Identify past values and trends in electric vehicle (EV) sales to establish a baseline of electric vehicle penetration and to project electric vehicle sales and sales characteristics within the U.S. Compare EV sales by states and evaluate the types of barriers to EV usage and the actions or incentives to overcome the barriers.

Brief Description

The object of this research is to assess the current status and predict the future penetration of electric vehicles (EVs) within the U.S. market. The original prediction method was based on EV yearly sales and cumulative sales data for 2010 through 2014 and assumed future growth rates of 10, 15, 25 and 35%. Using data through 2014, a sales growth rate of about 23% was determined.

Sales figures are now available for the 8 month period of 2015. The 2015 figures show that EV sales are not experiencing the same growth as in 2014. Once the 2015 yearly sales are completed, the trend analysis will be further evaluated. The major factor for the slower growth is almost entirely attributed to the significant price drop in U.S. gasoline. The average cost of gasoline in the U.S. for 2015 was $2.60/gallon (a low of less than $2.00/gallon) as compared to $3.44/gallon in 2014. The bright spots for EV sales are that the U.S. EV fleet is the largest in the world with 349,000 vehicles and California is the largest market with 143,000 vehicles sold (46% of the U.S. total). The largest selling EV is the Nissan Leaf with over 82,000 vehicles sold followed by the Chevrolet Volt with about 79,000 vehicles sold. The U.S. market now has over 20 EV models from 12 manufacturers.

The work also evaluated the types of barriers to EV usage and the actions or incentives to overcome the barriers. The barriers to large scale EV usages are vehicle cost, mileage between charging, perceived battery life, availability of charging stations, charging time, resale, infrastructure and public knowledge and education. The work on overcoming EV barriers continues.

Research Results

The EV sales volume for the eight month period for January through August 2015 was 71,375 vehicles (44,563 BEVs and 26,815 PHEVs). Comparing this sales value of 71,375 to the sales of 78,809 for January to August 2014 gives a 9.4% decrease. The cumulative total number of EV sales as of the end of August 2015 is now at 358,000 vehicles. It is also noted that hybrid vehicles showed a -19% decrease in sales for the same period of time.

The primary reason for the declines in sales can be attributed to the price of gasoline. The average cost of gasoline in the U.S. for 2015 was $2.60/gallon as compared to $3.44/gallon in 2014 (gasoline cost $3.58/gallon in 2013). Note is made that U.S. gasoline reached a low of $2.02/gallon in February 2015.

As of July 2015, the bright spots for EV sales are that the U.S. EV fleet is the largest in the world with 349,000 vehicles and California is the largest market with 143,000 vehicles sold (46% of the U.S. total). The largest selling EV is the Nissan Leaf with over 82,000 vehicles sold followed by the Chevrolet Volt with about 79,000 vehicles sold. The Tesla Model S ranks third with about 50,000 vehicles sold. The U.S. market now has over 20 EV models from 12 manufacturers.

With regard to EV sales by state, data from Joann Zhou of Argonne National Lab shows the top five states in EVs/1000 people are California (3.2), Hawaii (2.2), Washington (1.7), Georgia (1.5) and Oregon (1.4). See: http://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/downloads/vehicle-technologies-office-merit-review-2015-e-drive-vehicle-sales-analyses.

The major technical and social barriers to enhanced EV usage are:

  1. Vehicle cost,
  2. Vehicle mileage between charging,
  3. Vehicle maintenance and, in particular, battery life,
  4. Availability of charging stations,
  5. Charging time,
  6. Resale values,
  7. Infrastructure, standards, and permitting,
  8. Public knowledge and education.

All of the above barriers are in varying stages of development and are being addressed by the auto manufactures, the EVSE suppliers, EV related organizations and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

In 2012, President Obama announced the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge. This announcement led DOE to set a 15-year time frame technical action plan. The technical subjects and goal targets for the DOE EV program fall into four areas:

  1. Battery R & D -- Cutting battery costs from their current $500/kWh to $125/kWh
  2. Electric drive system R & D -- Reducing the cost of electric drive systems from $30/kW to $8/kW
  3. Vehicle weight reduction -- Eliminating almost 30% of vehicle weight through use of lighter materials
  4. Advanced climate control technologies.

Every year during the June time frame, the DOE Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) holds its annual merit review and peer evaluation meeting in Washington, D.C.  Presentations for the June 2015 meeting that update DOE’s programs and yearly results are posted on the web at: http://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/vehicle-technologies-office-annual-merit-review-presentations.

Another area of the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge activities is the DOE "Research and Development of Electricity as a Vehicle Fuel" program. Key areas of research within this program include:

Battery Performance  -- Research to reduce the cost of electrochemical energy storage by developing technologies that afford higher energy and power densities without sacrificing safety or performance.

Power Electronics Devices -- Research to develop advanced power electronics and electric machinery technologies that improve reliability, efficiency, and ruggedness, and reduce costs.

Grid Integration -- Research to develop strategies that facilitate access to clean energy from renewable sources, to optimize renewables use of existing generation and distribution capacity, to satisfy driver expectations, and to ensure safety.

Environmental and Market Analysis -- Research to better understand and maximize environmental benefits, and to understand and overcome barriers.

Advanced Vehicle Testing -- Tests to benchmark and validate the performance of light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and research to develop test procedures to accurately measure real-world vehicle performance.

For additional information see:

http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity_research.html

Impacts/Benefits

The impacts and benefits of predicting the number of EVs are a necessary parameter in all EV planning activities. As new sales data is received, the results will be updated. In addition, the usage barriers and their solutions will be followed and evaluated. This research will support the goals of the Electric Vehicle Transportation Center.

Reports

Block, D., & Harrison, J. (2014). Electric Vehicle Sales and Future Projections (FSEC Rep. No. FSEC-CR-1985-14). Cocoa, FL: Florida Solar Energy Center.

Block, D., & Harrison, J., Brooker, P. (2015). Electric Vehicle Sales for 2014 and Future Projections (FSEC Rep. No. FSEC-CR-1998-15). Cocoa, FL: Florida Solar Energy Center.

 

Project Title:
Prediction of Electric Vehicle Penetration

University:
University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

Principal Investigator:
Dr. David L. Block

PI Contact Information:
block@fsec.ucf.edu
321-638-1001
321-638-1010 (Fax)

Florida Solar Energy Center
1679 Clearlake Rd.
Cocoa, FL 32922

Funding Source:
Research and Innovative Technology Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Denise Dunn
denise.e.dunn@dot.gov

Total Project Cost:
$67,499

Agency ID or Contract Number:
DTRT13-G-UTC51

Start date:
October 1, 2013

End date:
September 30, 2018