Q: How does this graph work?
A: The graph is a stacked area graph where each type of vehicle makes up a portion of the total vehicles on the road. Even though AFVs are on the top, they only make up a small portion of the nearly 3 billion vehicles that are projected to be on the road in 2050. It doesn’t matter where in the stacked graph they are. The rest of the 3 billion vehicles on the road are made up of either EVs or ICE vehicles, whose numbers will fluctuate based on what growth rates you assume!
Q: All three of the listed EV growth rate models (IEA, Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs) show sales going up quickly, then decreasing. Why would that be?
A: In early years of the adoption of any disruptive technology, growth rates are likely to be high. For example, in 2010, the first year mainstream EVs went on sale, 7,000 were sold. Then in 2011, 45,000 were sold. That’s a growth rate of 543%, even though 38,000 EVs is only a drop in the bucket of a larger car market that sells tens of millions of vehicles each year. As more vehicles come online each year, achieving huge growth rate increases becomes more difficult. What’s more, as more EVs are sold and the technology becomes more diffused into the mainstream, there will be fewer new customers, meaning less demand. It’s an effect known as market saturation.
Q: Why can I not increase the growth rate above 100%?
A: You can, just not on the web version of the Tool. If you’d like to alter the growth rate beyond 100% or into negative territory, we encourage you to download the full version of the Tool, available at the bottom of this page or by clicking here.
Q: I read that Tesla has received nearly 400,000 preorders for its forthcoming Model 3 vehicle. How does that fact change your predictions?
A: It doesn’t, because the different scenarios presented account for high EV growth in 2018 (the year when those Model 3s are set to come online). For example, IEA predicts 2.5 million EVs being sold in 2018, Bloomberg predicts 900,000, and Goldman Sachs predicts 1.4 million. However, if you believe those predictions don’t fully account for Tesla’s recent orders, you can add in those extra sales by increasing the growth rate in the 2016-2020 period on your own.
Q: I keep increasing the growth rate in later years, but the graph is staying the same. Why is that?
A: When this occurs it means that in earlier years you inputted a growth rate high enough to make EV sales 100 percent of new vehicle sales. Since more EVs can’t be sold than total vehicles, once EV sales reach 100 percent of new vehicle sales, changing the growth percentage in later years won’t alter the chart.
Q: How do I alter variables other than just the EV growth rate?
A: You can alter the Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) sales growth rate, as well as the overall fleet growth rate, if you download the full version of the Tool, as well as the white paper, at the bottom of the page or by clicking here.
Q: What were your assumptions and methodology in building the Tool?
A: For a full description of our assumptions and methodology, you can download the white paper, along with the Tool itself, at the bottom of the page or by clicking here.
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