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Electrification in 2022

Release date:
3 February 2022
With electric vehicles already outselling diesels in some parts of the world, is 2022 the year that electrification charges ahead? Our e-mobility strategy specialist, Brandon Roberts, looks at six factors that could help or hinder EV take-off 
 
🕒 2.5 min read | 📖 Feature| 💡 Why it matters

Government backing

The combination of government policy plus action from car manufacturers looks set to fuel a healthy EV market this year.

 

Sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) began increasing during COVID-19, supported by some major policy announcements from governments. This wave of policy and legislative moves has profound implications for BEVs. For example, in the European Union, the ‘Fit for 55’ package of proposals to help meet the target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 may start to come into effect this year.


And in the US, President Biden is attempting to push his huge Build Back Better programme through Congress. That contains $320 billion in clean energy funding, including EV tax credits and funding for charging stations.

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New EV launches

The pace of EV launches is picking up, with a slew of new models expected this year.

 

I'm interested to see whether consumers get excited by the new products from EV-only start-ups, such as Lucid, or whether they favour the ‘traditional’ OEMs, such as VW and General Motors, as they bring out mass-production cars with a battery.


Tesla, meanwhile, is likely to continue to perform well with consumers as they expand their production capacity this year.


And, despite uncertainty over battery costs due to rising component prices (see below), progress is still expected towards price parity as automakers scale EV production and unlock further cost savings.

Getting connected

Digital advances are making for a better driver experience.
 

An increasing number of customers are looking to drive vehicles with smart connectivity features. These features allow drivers – who are used to the experience of a handheld device – to interact with the car. And innovative car manufacturers are responding with technology that entices new EV drivers.

 

Three years ago, connectivity was one of four hot pillars of future mobility, along with autonomy,  electrification and sharing. But post-pandemic, the emphasis will be on the importance of electrification and connectivity. 


Ambitions of full autonomy have somewhat subsided for passenger cars because the technology is proving a lot harder than originally thought. But some of the technology that was accelerated in the initial chase ater autonomy is still being deployed, which is why we're seeing new ‘smart’ driving features, such as advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), entering the market and the increasing use of LiDAR (light detection and ranging). 


Car sharing, meanwhile, has been an inevitable casualty of the pandemic and its restrictions on communal activities. 

Pick-ups picking up 

There’s a growing trend for the off-road EVs.

 

With their combination of utility and luxury, reliability and affordability, pick-up trucks and SUVs are the biggest market segment in the US. So it’s no surprise that car manufacturers are tapping into that market too, with new electric pick-up models expected this year.


Tesla is building the Cybertruck, while Ford is launching the all-electric F-150 Lightning pick-up truck, which has a 300-mile (480-kilometre) range. This release has proved so popular that Ford was forced to close pre-reservation after orders hit 200,000. 

Supply chain challenge

The semiconductor crisis is not going away, and COVID is aggravating existing supply chain issues.

 

With EVs containing so many semiconductors, the mismatch between demand and supply could be a problem this year. Linked to this is the ‘chicken and egg’ problem, pitching charging infrastructure against vehicles on the road. Infrastructure can’t be rolled out without semiconductors, because the charging points have them too.

Two-wheeler take-off

New models and more convenient charging boost the two-wheeler market.

 

In markets such as China, India and Vietnam, electric two-wheelers (E2Ws) are making serious headway, with total cost of ownership shifting towards favourability in these markets. The E2W market has mainly been fuelled by start-ups, but global players like Honda are adapting their strategies to capture the incoming market demand.


E2Ws are also at the forefront of adopting battery swapping, which is expected to accelerate the adoption via increased ‘charging’ speed and a more convenient customer experience. Battery swapping is also popular for EVs in key markets such as China. A few start-ups are experimenting in this area, including Gogoro and Aulton. 

💡 Why it matters

 

At bp, we believe that electrification is key to helping the world get to net zero. To help drive EV adoption, we want to provide the fastest, most convenient network of charging – more than 70,000 points worldwide by 2030. 


Ultra-fast charging (UFC) is a critical step to overcoming popular concerns about using EVs as it ‎deals with range anxiety and lack of access to charging at home. That’s why we’re focusing on rolling out UFCs at motorway service stations, fuel forecourts, hotels, car parks, supermarkets and restaurants that can already deliver around 100 miles of range in as little as 10 minutes, depending on the vehicle, so that EV drivers can stay charged, even if they can’t charge at home.‎


We’re developing EV charging infrastructure in the UK, Germany, and India through our Jio-bp joint venture, as well as in China – the world’s largest EV market, where we are in partnership with DiDi. In the US, we’ve taken our first major step into electrification with the acquisition of AMPLY Power, an EV charging and energy management provider for fleets.

And that's not all – Castrol has launched a range of advanced e-Fluids for improved EV performance. It is also partnering with Williams Advance Engineering to co-develop high-performance EV fluids for the fast-growing Formula E motor sport.  

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