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Electric vehicles – the story so far

And 3 key questions about the future of transport

1 minute read

The future of transport is evolving. Our analysis points to a gradual but exponentential rise in electric vehicle (EV) sales globally, driven by rapidly changing EV economics and technological innovations. In 2018, our experts have been exploring what that means for oil, metals and power markets around the world. Read on to find out more. 

What impact will EV take-up have on the oil industry?

The most immediate effect of the growth in EVs will be the decline in oil demand. If EV stock rises as we expect it to, we’ll see almost 5.5 million barrels per day of gasoline and diesel demand displaced. That number could climb even higher as fuel efficiency continues to improve and as more countries and governments establish more stringent fuel efficiency mandates. We also looked at the expected disruption to the oil market and where the growth in EVs is likely to be most pronounced.

Due to the size and growth of China's middle class, this region is going to be key to the growth of EVs.

  • 280 million

    Forecast global EV passenger car stock by 2040

  • 5.5 million b/d

    Volume of gasoline and diesel demand likely to be displaced

  • US$100/kWh

    Expected cost of batteries by 2027

Which markets are likely winners of an EV boom, and are they ready?

It's not just the oil industry that will see a knock on effect from EV growth. With demand for battery raw materials growing at an unprecedented rate, the lithium and cobalt industries are set to be transformed. With EV growth driving demand for lithium-ion batteries, we spoke with Thomson Reuters on all things supply chain at their Global Base Metals Forum. Managing consultant, James Whiteside, shared his thoughts during this Q&A session.

Following this, our experts sat down with Dukascopy to discuss the impact EVs are having on the battery and raw materials market. In this video interview, we discuss China's plans for EV standardisation and the expected impact on lithium demand. We also address the question about whether EV manufacturers will be able to secure enough battery raw materials, and our 2018 outlook for cobalt.

  • 1 in 9

    EV sales globally as a proportion of total car sales by 2035

  • 133%

    Cobalt price surge yoy in 2018

  • US$13,460/t

    Forecast average nickel price in 2018


Our latest battery raw materials analysis shows rapidly increasing deficits in the lithium, nickel and cobalt markets post 2030. We now take a look at battery recycling and how the industry needs to develop to support growing demand for the key metals. An overview of some of the major challenges and barriers highlight that while recycling will be critical for any significant EV penetration, it still may not be enough.

Can electric vehicle battery recycling fill the gap?

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Why isn't EV take-up as quick as expected?

With an estimated 280 million passenger cars expected by 2040, the global energy transition has picked up steam. However, by the end of 2018, there will only be 5 million EVs on the road (out of a global car stock of 1.2 billion). When looking at how the EV market might develop, we addressed common questions such as whether battery cost and range is still a stumbling block and whether governments are doing enough to give EVs a foothold.

EV growth will require massive charging infrastructure build-out, and stakeholders are scrambling to develop collaborative business models to access multiple streams of spend and revenue. Interest and adoption of EVs is being driven by falling battery prices, government mandates and incentives, as well as ride sharing initiatives. The infrastructure to support widespread EV usage and the subsequent electrification of transportation, like the demand for EVs themselves, is still materialising. Find out how big this opportunity is and how leveraging EVs in markets and for local resiliency is critical to tapping into potential financial benefits, both charging revenue and grid services.

  • 2027

    When we predict EV battery costs will compete with ICE vehicles

  • 40% to 50%

    Forecast EV sales globally by 2040 if carbon policies are enforced

  • 2030

    When automated EVs are likely to become a real force in the market

Perhaps the issue with adoption is on the side of consumers. Do the benefits of EVs need a reality check? Are EVs as green as we think? We conducted research into whether an EVs green credentials stack up when the whole chain, from well-to-wheel, is considered. We asked How green is an EV when the full chain is taken into account?