Too conservative.Valuethinker wrote: 2020 at a stretch you might see 1% of world sales be EV. 2030 it might be 10%. 2050 it might be nearly 100%.
Actually, for **sedans** EVs were >1% of US vehicle sales in 2014. For all light vehicles (including SUVS and pickups, for which until recently there were no EV offerings), it was closer to 0.6%. IIRC, EV sales figures are even better in Europe as a fraction of total sales, at a comparable >1% of sedans in 2015. China is still a smaller car market, but has had EV sales surge last year to a larger volume than the US.
In the luxury sedan segment, the Model S has been stealing significant enough share that all the makers have seen their luxury sales drop ~10% over the last year. This is why all those makers are planning Model S lux EV clones....they fear going out of business in a few years if they don't!
Bottom line, in 2016 batteries are still relatively expensive....you would expect the most penetration in the lightest vehicles (which need the smallest batteries per range unit) AND in the lux segment, where battery cost is less of an issue (allowing a 200+ mile battery today). In both of those segments, sales and market penetration growth have been fantastic.
More importantly, the cost of batteries is expected to drop to the point that long-range EVs have lower **Initial** cost that all ICE car market segments in 2020. At that point, I would expect EV sales for all light vehicles to displace ICE cars in a way the Model S is now doing in the lux segment...soaring past 10% of sales within a couple years...like 2021 or 2022.
My wild guess would be we cross 50% of light vehicle sales before 2030.
Its not unlike the case with digital cameras....the first ones were expensive, and the pictures were inferior to quality film cameras. As soon as digital cameras had an equivalent picture quality to film and also cost less, in addition to being more fun and versatile, adoption surged in a few short years. Nowadays, there are still film photographers, but it is a hobby and pro niche, not a mass market.
As for Tesla's place: by claiming the lux end of this disruptive tech, they are making more profit on EVs (per sale) than any of the other EV makers, AND when the disruption comes, their brand will be associated with the longest history and quality in the market...to be the future 'Apple' brand of cars. IF they can hold it together.