Electric Vehicles EVAutomotive

2021 marks entry of EVs into automotive mainstream, ABI Research says

Global tech market advisory firm ABI Research sees growth in electric vehicle (EV) adoption in 2021, “which will see EV sales move from a rounding error of total new vehicle shipments to over a quarter of new vehicles shipping in 2030.”

ABI Research’s whitepaper “68 Technology Trends That Will Shape 2021,” says that EV owners will experience the shift of environmentally conscious motorists to “typical automotive consumers.” In this regard, original equipment manufacturer (OEMs) will need to develop more innovative approaches to the life cycle management of EVs.

“This transition from niche to the mainstream will be built on the introduction of low-cost EV models that satisfy the typical mileage requirements at an acceptable price point,” said James Hodgson, principal analyst, Smart Mobility and Automotive at ABI Research. “Smart charging technologies, support for occasional Direct Current (DC) fast charging, and battery management will be critical in supporting mainstream consumers in their transition from ICEs to EV ownership.”

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The whitepaper was produced by ABI Research’s analysts who identified 37 trends that will shape the technology market and 31 others that, although attracting huge amounts of speculation and commentary, are less likely to move the needle over the next twelve months.

“For success in 2021, especially after a very challenging 2020, one must understand fundamental trends early, and take a view on those trends that are buoyed by hyperbole and those that are sure to be uncomfortable realities. Now is the time to double down on the right technology investment,” said Stuart Carlaw, chief research officer at ABI Research.

However, even if there will be a shift in automotive owners classification, ABI is not quite optimistic of a “business as usual” for manufacturers.

“The first half of 2020 saw the market for new vehicles implode, contracting by around 70%,” says Hodgson. “COVID-19 and the measures taken to contain the spread of the virus dealt a double blow to the already faltering automotive market, disrupting supply chains and depriving the industry of the bricks-and-mortar retail environment on which it heavily relies.”

ABI Research further states that many OEMs reported a return to growth in the third quarter of 2020 as offset demand from the first half, manifested in a summer period that saw many governments lift restrictions and allow auto dealerships to reopen.

“Moving into 2021, however, the automotive industry should not expect a return to the new vehicle sales volumes of recent years. The market size is expected to remain subdued until 2024 given the prospect of repeated lockdowns, long-term remote working, and a bleak macroeconomic outlook,” Hodgson said.