SOURCE: Lux Research

Lux Research

March 22, 2016 07:30 ET

New Electric Vehicle Report Card Gives Auto Industry Failing Grades in 2016

For Now, Industry Offerings Earn Three "F" Grades and One Incomplete Across Five Classes, and the Point for 50% Plug-In Adoption Isn't Until After 2035, Says Lux Research

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Mar 22, 2016) - With few electric vehicles (EVs) passing key performance benchmarks of driving range and cost, the automotive industry received an overall failing grade for its EV offerings. In the inaugural 2016 edition of Lux Research's annual "EV Inflection Tracker," the industry earned just 27 out of a possible 100 rating, mainly because of high costs and limited offerings with a driving range of over 200 miles.

Luxury cars earned the highest rating, due to offerings from Tesla, BYD, and Volvo -- but three of the five classes received "F" grades, and pickup trucks were incomplete, with no plug-in vehicles available. The study estimated that plug-in vehicles (both EVs and PHEVs together) will reach mass-adoption -- capturing more than 50% of new car sales -- between 2035 and 2040.

"Although EV progress is being made, we still found few compelling choices for mainstream consumers, with most plug-ins both too expensive for the mass market and too limited in electric driving range. This performance earns the automotive industry a failing report card aside from the luxury niche," said Cosmin Laslau, Lux Research Senior Analyst and lead author of the report titled, "EV Inflection Tracker 2016 Edition."

"It will take three full model cycles worth of development and iteration before the EVs take over the market, but automakers are showing progress on improving their offerings, with Tesla and GM leading the way," he added.

Lux Research analysts evaluated the EV industry's performance over the past year, and estimated its progress. Among their findings:

  • Compelling mass-market EVs aren't there -- yet. No carmaker has yet attained the "holy grail" for EVs -- 200 miles of all-electric range and a price tag below $33,000. The forthcoming Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3 should be closing in on that target, however, and could even make the cut with some temporary subsidies.

  • Small is still big in EVs. Small plug-ins will continue to see the most action in the next few years, with new players jumping in. In addition to Tesla's promised Model 3, Volkswagen is pinning its hopes after Dieselgate on a new EV and longer-range plug-in Golfs. Nissan, maker of the Leaf electric car, is likely to be drawn into an emerging battle around 200-mile electric range EVs.

  • Luxury cars enable trickle-down innovation. Luxury plug-ins don't drive meaningful sales volumes but serve as early incubators of technology, providing critical "trickle-down" innovation. Tesla's Model S and the newer Model X lead this segment but Germany luxury carmakers such as Porsche, Audi and Mercedes-Benz are pouring billions into plug-in development.

The report, titled "EV Inflection Tracker," is part of the Lux Research Energy Storage Intelligence service.

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About Lux Research

Lux Research provides strategic advice and ongoing intelligence for emerging technologies. Leaders in business, finance and government rely on us to help them make informed strategic decisions. Through our unique research approach focused on primary research and our extensive global network, we deliver insight, connections and competitive advantage to our clients. Visit www.luxresearchinc.com for more information.

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