Electric vehicle production capacity is increasing across the board globally, but is that what the market needs? A new report holds results that indicate new growth in demand from China and a bright future for electric vehicle component suppliers.
The report, the Global Automotive Executive Survey [pdf], is KPMG International’s annual assessment of the current and future states of the global auto industry and is comprised of 200 senior executives from around the world. For the first time in the survey’s history, mobility service providers were included.
Hybrids are seen as the best mid-term solution, given the demands of the current marketplace, by the majority. Additionally, 63-percent of respondents expect greater involvement between automotive companies and ‘TIME’ companies (Telecommunications, Information Technology, Media, and Entertainment).
On the horizon for new car communication technology is improved car-to-car communication—warning of slick roads or issues ahead. Your EV, internet-connected and tied to the ‘cloud,’ could be communicating to nearly anything through a developing infrastructure. Some cars are already working with cell phones, but upcoming electric vehicles could even connect to manufacturers to provide remote service.
A service that could benefit from further connectivity, as highlighted in the report, is car sharing—a solution to urban mobility issues.
When asked about the winning electrified propulsion technology until 2025, respondents were mixed in their attitudes, with opinions ranging from full hybrids (22-percent), plug-in hybrids (21-percent), fuel cell electric vehicles (20-percent), with battery electrified vehicles with and without range extenders trailing the rest.
Even a long-term view into the future to 2025 didn’t provide an optimistic outlook for new electric car registrations, which were predicted not to exceed 15-percent by that year.
The report also predicted that the global automotive market would be overbuilt by more than 20-percent by 2016. However, estimated sales in Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) were 29 to 30 million vehicles in 2016. The report advised that the best points of entry for companies in BRIC countries to enter Western Europe and North America would respectively be Turkey and Brazil, each with the lion’s share of expectations compared to other countries in the region.
The United States appeared to many to be an overbuilt market, but is in fact far behind China, which was followed closely by the rest of Asia (excluding China and Japan). The majority of respondents believed that China would have built up the most capacity by 2016, nearly doubling the current state of affairs.
The BRIC markets are already at overcapacity, and may be heading towards excess production—manufacturers need to determine better levels of capacity to meet downswings and upturns in demand.
In terms of companies, Volkswagen appears to be the ‘undisputed leader’ in terms of growth rate and is closely followed by Hyundai/Kia and BMW. Toyota, possibly still reeling from the disasters that hit Japan, is working on increasing its share.
The report advocates that new partnerships are the answer to incorporating new technology and adapting to changes in demand. Better joint ventures will allow for more adaptive technologies, which will mean that new materials and designs will be better adopted.