We asked Patrick Schaufuss, Partner at McKinsey Center for Future Mobility, to share his predictions for mobility in 2022.

For the transformation of the mobility industry, electrification will play an important role in all vehicle segments, albeit at different speeds and to different extents(1).

EVs are going mainstream

The tipping point in passenger EV adoption occurred in 2020, when EV penetration accelerated in major markets despite the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, EV(2) sales grow by 90% to ~6mn units globally (vs 3.1 mn in 2020). Europe spearheaded this development, where EV adoption will reach around 20% in 2021 due to strict CO2 policy mandates and generous subsidies for consumers, followed by China (15%) and US (5%).

Fully electric by 2035

Global markets are accelerating their adoption of zero emission technologies with Europe, China, and US reaching close to 100% EV sales in 2035. Europe will electrify fastest with 60-75% EV sales in 2030, several OEMs going all electric by 2030, and an EU Commission zero-emissions target for new cars by 2035. China is expected to lead in absolute terms reaching 55-65% EV sales in 2030, with no official target for 2030 announced. We will expect the US to catch-up rapidly in the second half of this decade reaching close to 50% EV sales in 2030.

Smooth transition

To ensure smooth and widespread adoption of electric mobility, the whole ecosystem must prepare for the transformation: In Europe, to meet the 2030 regulatory CO2 targets, ~6mn public EV charging points need to be installed (up to 15,000 per week). Total investments into charging infrastructure amounts to EUR 70bn, additional EUR 30bn will be required for grid upgrades, and EUR 50bn for additional renewable electricity generation for EVs. Similarly important is the creation of resilient and circular supply chains of batteries (~25 Gigafactories in EU required in 2030).

Complementarity of powertrains and energy carriers

To achieve a net-zero target in mobility over the next decades, all decarbonization forces must complement each other. Passenger cars transition fast to a BEV-only world (>95% BEV, <5% FCEV), commercial vehicles leverage the benefits of fuel cell and battery electric powertrains depending on segment and use-case, sustainable fuels help to decarbonize the existing vehicle park and hard-to-abate segments/regions, supply chains getting decarbonized by using green-materials and electrifying processes along the supply chain. The powertrain and energy transition must go hand-in-hand.

(1) The article focuses primarily on passenger vehicles.
(2) EVs consider BEVs and PHEVs

You can explore more predictions from 24 global thought leaders and visionaries who are shaping the future of mobility, liveable cities and sustainable Transport, in our Global Thought Leaders Predictions for Mobility 2022 report.