NOVI, MI – The feeling of optimism at the recent Battery Show was palpable as many of the record number of attendees were bullish about the prospects for not only batteries, but the vehicles they power.
Keynote speaker Wolfgang Bernhart, a senior partner at Roland Berger, predicted BEVs could account for 38% of new-car demand in 2030, with the strongest growth being registered in Europe.
Bernhart, who co-heads the consultancy’s advanced automotive and industrial technology group, raised cautionary flags regarding the global materials supply chain, but doesn’t see issues as insurmountable.
By market, Bernhart (pictured, below left) – a veteran analyst with 25 years of experience – estimates BEVs could account for as much as 68% of European passenger-car sales in 2030, 45% in China and 36% in North America.
In Europe, extrapolating from Roland Berger’s tables, BEV sales could reach 11.5 million units in 2030, up from 1.0 million units or 8% share in 2021, while in China and North America sales are projected to 15.1 million and 5.8 million units, respectively, up from 2021 totals of nearly 3 million and 0.5 million units.
Counting hybrids, mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids, Bernhart predicts the share of electrified cars in Europe will grow to 99% in 2030, meaning conventional internal-combustion cars, which accounted for 68% of 2021 sales, will fall to 1% of projected demand of 16.7 million units.
Meanwhile in China, the electrified share is projected to grow to 82% of 33.6 million units sold in 2030, from 21% in 2021. In North America, comprising the U.S., Canada and Mexico in the study, sales of electrified vehicles are expected to increase to 72% of a projected 16.1 million total vehicles, up, up from 14% share in 2021
Globally, Roland Berger forecasts BEV sales will grow from 6% of 2021 demand (4.6 million out of 77.2 million units) to 38 million out of a projected 100.6 million units in 2030. Counting hybrids, the total will grow to an estimated 73.4 million units.
“And this,” according to Bernhart, “would translate to a significant increase in battery demand from where we are today, at around 600-650 gigawatt hours, to 4,000 GWh at the end of the decade.
In its forecast, Roland Berger predicts the global battery market will grow to 3.97 terawatthours in 2030, from a projected 657 GWh in 2022. Light vehicles will constitute 77% of the 2030 total (3.08 TWh).
Including LSEVs or low-speed electric vehicles and electric commercial vehicles, buses and trucks, the projected share increases to 85% (3.35 TWh).
Homing in on the supply chain, Bernhart identifies several major risks.
“The first is the supply risk,” he says. “Do we have all the minerals from the mines we need? Do we have the refined materials? And do we have the ‘pCAM,’ or precursor cathode active materials?”
Next is the price risk. “Because of the tight supply situation, we expect prices to increase.”
Bernhart also raises the issue of geopolitical risks, focusing on Russia and China, both of which hold substantial material reserves. In the case of China, he notes, it also controls 65% of cobalt processing and 70% of lithium processing.
Also making presentations were the Boston Consulting Group and EV-Volumes.
BCG reports that in 2030 52% of powertrain sales in China will be batteries and fuel cells for BEVs and fuel-cell vehicles, growing to 67% in 2035. In 2021, batteries and fuel cells accounted for 11% of new light-vehicle powertrain sales.
ICEs will account for 25% of demand in 2030, falling further to 16% in 2035, from 84% in 2021.
Of vehicles in operation, a metric that lags sales, the BEV share will grow from 2% in 2021 to 21% in 2030 and climb to 35% in 2035.
In Europe, BCG predicts 64% of new-vehicle sales in 2030 will be BEVs and fuel-cell vehicles, rising to 94% in 2035, from 9% in 2021. The ICE share, according to the consultancy, will shrink from 77% in 2021 to 23% in 2030 and go down to 5% in 2035.
Of vehicles in operation, BEVs and fuel-cell vehicles will grow from 1% in 2021 to 19% and 37% in 2030 and 2035, respectively, while ICE vehicles, including mild hybrids, will fall from 97% of the market in 2021 to 70% and 51% in 2030 and 2035, respectively.
In the U.S., BEV and fuel-cell vehicle sales are projected to grow from 3% in 2021 to 47% and 68% in 2030 and 2035, respectively, while ICE vehicles will fall from 90% in 2021 to 38% share in 2030 to 21% of sales in 2035.
The share of BEV and fuel-cell vehicles in operation globally??? will grow from 1% in 2021 to 12% in 2030 and 27% in 2035, while the share of ICE vehicles will fall from 98% in 2021 to 80% in 2030 and to 64% in 2035.
EV-Volumes estimates battery demand for BEVs and PHEVs will grow to 3.32 TWh in 2030, up from 139 GWh in 2020. By sales region, China’s total will reach 1.22 TWh in 2030; North America, 882 GWh; Europe, 874 GWh; and the rest of the world, 338 GWh.
Looking at vehicle sales, the consultancy is projecting that global BEV and PHEV demand will grow to 45.2 million units in 2030, with BEVs accounting for more than 90% of the total. It expects the combined BEV and PHEV market share to grow to 44%.