Berkeley, California – Electric vehicles (EVs) could comprise 64 to 86 per cent of light vehicle sales by 2030, provided that consumers don’t have to buy the batteries themselves, according to a new study from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at the University of California.
Building an infrastructure for battery charging and swapping systems over the next few decades could exceed US$320 billion, the study said, but the cost could be offset by health-related savings of $205 billion as less vehicle pollution reduces the incidence of asthma and other respiratory diseases.
Provided EVs are powered by clean energy sources, vehicle-related emissions could be reduced by 62 per cent from 2005 levels. Oil imports could drop by 3.7 million barrels per day, about the amount the U.S. currently imports daily from the Persian Gulf and Venezuela.
The study also predicted a net gain of up to 350,000 new jobs by 2030 through EV adoption.
The results of the study are heavily predicated on pay-per-mile programs where consumers don’t pay for the batteries, which may exceed the cost of the rest of the vehicle. At current battery prices and with federal tax incentives for buying EVs, the study said if switchable battery vehicles come to market in 2012, they will cost $7,500 less than similar gasoline-powered cars. The total cost of ownership of switchable-battery vehicles is expected to be 10 to 13 cents lower per mile than gasoline-powered cars, depending on the future price of oil.