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February 16, 2021
EV Market Rebounds Faster Than Conventional Autos in 2020
Source: EV Hub
After a rough first six months, the U.S. passenger EV market rebounded and ended the year just three percent below 2019 in terms of total sales volume. The EV market, and the auto sector overall, hit its low point in May with a 54 percent drop in EV sales compared to 2019. This pandemic-induced crash in auto sales led to a 29 percent slump in the EV market through June 2020.

Since then, the market has rebounded and year-over-year EV sales were up in every month from September through December compared to 2019. November and December marked the year’s high points when U.S. EV sales surged 86 percent and 52 percent over the same months in 2019, respectively. The auto market overall was down by 15 percent for the whole year, indicating that EVs outperformed conventional vehicles in the United States in 2020. Despite a strong showing late in the year, 2020 marks the second consecutive year of declining EV sales in the United States after nearly a decade of annual growth. The U.S. EV market was down 12 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, the strongest year for U.S. passenger EV sales on record.

The slumping U.S. EV sales in recent years contrasts with considerable sales growth in Europe and elsewhere. The performance of the European EV market last year thrashed predictions early in the pandemic that the global EV market would shrink by 18 percent in 2020. Instead, EV sales grew by an astronomical 170 percent in Europe and the global market was up 39 percent according to Canalys. Roughly 1.3 million EVs were sold in Europe, accounting for 11 percent of new car sales. The 300,000 EVs sold in the United States in 2020 represent only two percent of the total light-duty vehicle sales for the year.

Without quick and decisive action, the United States risks falling further behind its main competitors as the global EV market accelerates. Last week, Congressperson Mike Thompson reintroduced the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act in the House of Representatives. The GREEN Act would extend the window for federal tax credits for automakers who have passed the 200,000 EV sales threshold. A new cap would be set at 600,000 vehicles before automakers enter a phase out period, bringing eligibility back to Tesla and GM vehicles for a period. In addition to extending the credits for automakers, the bill would add new federal tax credits for zero-emission buses and trucks. There are currently only six states that offer recurring programs offsetting the cost of procuring medium- and heavy-duty EVs.

The cost of manufacturing EVs continues to fall as battery prices decline. Between 2010 and 2020, the average price of lithium-ion batteries decreased by 89 percent, driving new investments in domestic battery production. This spike in investment activity has generated stiff competition and plenty of drama. Battery giants LG Chem and SK Innovation made headlines last week when the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in favor of LG Chem’s allegations that SK Innovation stole trade secrets. The order places a 10-year import ban on SK Innovation after a four-year grace period in which the company can supply batteries to Ford. A steady stream of batteries is essential to ramping up domestic EV production, and Ford is among the automakers calling for a settlement to be reached between the battery manufacturers. Volkswagen, which was granted a two-year grace period to source batteries from SK Innovation, also hopes the dispute will be settled outside of court. President Biden has 60 days to overturn the ruling, which complicates plans for the rollout of new vehicles like Ford’s F-150 and risks a loss of SK Innovation’s planned $2.6 billion battery facility that could employ 2,600 people in Georgia. You can track all EV manufacturing investment and employment commitments on the Automakers Dashboard.
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EV Hub News

GM to Sell Only EVs by 2035

On January 28th, 2021, General Motors (GM) announced plans to electrify their entire sales offerings by 2035. This follows announcements made in late 2020 that the company will increase their overall investment in EVs to a total of $27 million in support of at least 30 new EV models by 2025. GM is now leading the total investment commitment to EV manufacturing in the United States. The new announcement is part of a wider ambition for the company to reach carbon neutrality across all operations by 2040. GM is also the first of the “Detroit 3” automakers to make a commitment of this nature and follows European auto giants Volkswagen and Daimler who made similar commitments in 2020. Read More Here

Three States and DC Move to Implement TCI Program

On December 21, 2020, members of the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Washington D.C. announced plans to be the first jurisdictions to begin administering the Transportation & Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) that could bring $300 million of annual investment in clean transportation projects to communities throughout the region. Investment will come from the TCI program which collects “allowance” payments from major oil and gas suppliers in the region to invest in transportation electrification and other emissions-saving technologies. Emissions reductions in these four jurisdictions are expected to reach 26 percent by 2032. Read More Here

California to Ban Sale of New Gas Vehicles by 2035

California, the nation’s largest vehicle market, has announced that the sale of new gasoline passenger cars and trucks will be banned after 2035. The ban comes as a result of an Executive Order from Governor Gavin Newsom and directly addresses the state’s long-term climate goals amid an ongoing season of particularly extreme wildfires. The next steps will be for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to establish binding requirements setting this new rule in motion. Read More Here

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Upcoming Events

In this virtual happy hour, we will talk about the future of electric vehicles and potential catalysts for deployment headed into the new year. The event will include a short presentation from Women in Electric Vehicles, guided breakout room discussions, and a review of key takeaways. Please join us for what is sure to be an exciting exchange between professionals and enthusiasts in the cleantech space! Read more.

February 18th @ 5pm PST

Wireless EV charging, also known as inductive charging, provides drivers the opportunity to fuel-up without plugging in. In this webinar, Forth will be joined by panelists to discuss the wireless charging standard, current pilots, programs, and more. Read more.

February 23rd @ 1pm EST

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