The fight between hydrogen and batteries to replace the internal combustion engine as the driving force in vehicle technology is in full swing.
If you look at volumes, electric vehicles (EVs) are currently winning the battle. Almost half a million were sold in 2015, according to research group Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). A small proportion of the entire car market, to be sure – just 0.6%. But it was a 70% increase on the year before. Virtually every car manufacturer is increasing the number of EV models it produces; ranges are improving and costs are coming down. One of the key components, lithium-ion batteries, are 65% cheaper than they were in 2010, reaching $350 per kWh last year, says BNEF. “We expect EV battery costs to be well below $120 per kWh by 2030, and to fall further after that as new chemistries come in,” the group adds.
BNEF says that EVs will be cheaper than internal combustion engine cars by the mid-2020s and EV sales will hit 41 million by 2040, representing 35% of new light-duty vehicle sales. This would be almost 90 times the equivalent figure for 2015, when EV sales are estimated to have been 462,000, some 60% up on 2014.