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What is preventing widespread electric vehicle adoption? Our report examines five critical challenges that must be overcome to accelerate uptake

Supercharging mainstream electric vehicle adoption

Accelerating the EVolution - The road to mainstream EV adoption

A report commissioned by Castrol into the future of the electric vehicle industry

Electric vehicles (EVs) will revolutionise mobility across the globe,  and play a pivotal role in the decarbonisation of our economy. But  although EV sales have been rising steadily, mainstream adoption is  still a long way off: just one in 50 new cars sold is an EV*​.


Exploring the views of nearly 10,000 consumers, fleet managers and  industry specialists across eight of the world’s most important EV  markets, ​Accelerating the EVolution ​finds that ​a​chieving a ​$36,000 price point​, a ​31 minute charge time​ and a ​469km range** would  rapidly accelerate the global market for EVs.


Our study also reveals that meeting these ‘tipping points’ could  present a ​$376 billion opportunity​ for annual EV sales across those eight markets by 2025.


For more insights on EV adoption,​ ​download the ​Accelerating the EVolution ​report and download the infographic.

Even in these uncertain times, the automotive industry is rising to the critical challenges highlighted in our research. EVs that meet at least one of the tipping points for price, charge time or range are already on the market. With the industry’s inspiring response to the coronavirus crisis demonstrating what we can achieve, and EV technology constantly improving, the challenge now will be to accelerate EVolution as quickly as possible to contribute to one of the most important critical challenges of all: decarbonising our economy.Mandhir SinghChief executive officer, Castrol

When will buyers choose EVs?  

Our study spans eight of the world’s most important EV markets  based on size, growth potential and maturity: China, France,  Germany, India, Japan, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United  States.


The majority of consumers told us that they themselves would consider buying an EV by 2024​, but consumers believe that it  won’t be until 2030 that the majority of new cars purchased are  electric.


The study also reveals that although global attitudes to EV adoption  are positive, some markets are more forward-thinking than others. Indian consumers told us they would consider buying an EV as soon  as 2022, closely followed by Chinese consumers just a year later.


Download ​Accelerating the EVolution​report and ​infographic for more market insights.   

What are the barriers to mainstream EV adoption?

Our research defines mainstream adoption as the point at which 50  percent or more consumers would consider purchasing an electric  vehicle. The manufacturers who can meet these five critical  challenges will be well placed to win the battle for market share.


1. Price - the $36,000 challenge

Our study shows the purchase price of an EV is the most  important ‘critical challenge’ for consumers. The tipping  point price tag when mainstream adoption could be  achieved is ​$36,000​, equivalent to the average price of a car  in the United States. Nearly two-thirds of consumers told us  that the current array of EVs on the market is beyond their  price range. 

2. Charge time - the 31 minute challenge

The length of time it takes to charge a battery was the  second most important ‘critical challenge’ for consumers,  according to our research. The charge time tipping point for  mainstream adoption is ​31 minutes​, equivalent to the length  of a typical lunch break. Although this is far longer than the  average internal combustion engine refuel, it is only nine  minutes longer than the average break at a rest stop. 

3. Range - the 469km challenge 

Vehicle range was the third most important ‘critical  challenge’ for consumers. Our study shows that EVs need to  reach a range of around ​469km​ – equivalent to the distance  between London and Paris – for mainstream adoption to be  achieved. Internal combustion engine equivalents can  achieve between 500 and 1,000km.  


4. Charging Infrastructure  - the global charge point challenge 

The consumers we surveyed ranked charging infrastructure  as their fourth most important critical challenge. Seventy  percent of consumers believe that the majority of new cars  will be electric when charging infrastructure becomes as  easily available as service stations. 

Charging Infrastructure

5. Vehicle Choice - the multi-model challenge  

While vehicle choice was the least important critical  challenge for consumers, it was the second most important  buying factor for fleet managers. O​ver half of consumers and  fleet managers said they would consider making the switch  if there was an EV-equivalent to their favourite ICE car.

Vehicle Choice
For more insights on EV adoption, download the Accelerating the EVolution report or view the infographic.
**Tipping points and supporting figures on this page are based on our 2020 survey. More information can be found in the Accelerating the EVolution report and infographic.