One of the largest investment banks in the U.S. published new market research on Tuesday that calls the Biden administration’s ambitious electric vehicle (EV) targets into question.
Morgan Stanley released market research that projects the role that EVs will play in the global and American automobile markets over the coming years. The bank is forecasting that legacy American manufacturers will see EVs make up about 10% of their sales by 2030, and that the legacy manufacturers and EV-focused producers like Tesla will bring the share of EV sales up to about 25% in the U.S. by 2030.
These projections are far below the thresholds that the EV adoption numbers that the administration is pursuing. The White House’s stated target for 2030 is to have EVs constitute 50% of all new car sales by 2030, and proposed tailpipe emissions regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency would effectively require two-thirds of all light-duty vehicles sold after model year 2032 to be EVs.
“Platitudinous goals from legacy [internal combustion engine] companies targeting 50%-type EV penetration by end of decade does not properly account for the relevant geographic mix, demographic mix, segment mix and does not allow for the inclusion of large pure-play companies in a global EV market that still faces significant hurdles in terms of supply chain, geopolitics, cost and economics,” the bank’s research states. “While we see potential for Detroit’s auto makers to participate in global EV adoption in a relevant way, we expect to see changes in the scaling and magnitude of their strategies in the coming quarters.”
The administration is pursuing other stringent regulations for the auto market to push EVs on American consumers, and federal agencies are also spending billions of taxpayer dollars and offering consumer tax credits to make the vehicles more appealing.
EVs tend to be considerably more expensive than their gas-powered equivalents. For example, the Ford F-150 pickup truck, one of the most popular vehicles in America, costs about $38,500, significantly less than the $57,000 price of a Ford F-150 Lightning EV model.
Beyond the higher price tag, there are several other issues that may be responsible for the fact that EV demand is not taking off as policymakers or industry executives may have initially expected. Other issues include inconsistent charger performance and distribution, battery range anxiety and poor performance in inclement weather conditions.
The White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
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