Major EV trends that grew in 2021

Major EV trends that grew in 2021

There were two big EV trends last year that deserve to be put under the microscope.

I want to focus on two big EV trends from last year, and they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum. The first trend is on hybrid sales. Globally, do you think they went up or down year over year?

Up! They went WAY up!

In a recent report by independent market researchers IDTechEx, we see that non-plug-in AND plug-in hybrid sales have been surging over the past couple of years, with plug-in hybrid sales tripling year-on-year to over 600,000 vehicles in Europe alone in 2020.

But are hybrids going to stick?

Well, as IDTechEx points out, at their worst, hybrids are super confusing: Consumers go to the dealership and are faced with 48V mild hybrids, 48V full hybrids, full hybrid high voltage, plug-in hybrids, non-plug-in hybrids… To your average consumer, this is a lot to wrap your head around all at once.

It’s so confusing, in fact, that the Norwegian government actually banned misleading “self-charging” hybrid EV ads because drivers just weren’t plugging them in – they didn’t get it! The UK also reduced, and then removed incentives for plug-in hybrid EVs for the same reason.

At their best, IDTechEx calls hybrids a short-term transitional step toward zero-emission powertrains. They argue that sales surges of hybrids will likely be short-lived, because pure battery electric vehicles are the easiest way to meet emissions targets and are in high demand, so they will increasingly be prioritized.

So hybrids are on trend – not quite a “fad,” per se, but it’s hard to argue that they’ll be here for the long haul, either.

Speaking of long haul – The second trend for 2021 is heavy-duty trucking.

Four years ago, Tesla announced its Class 8 truck and put the trucking industry into go-mode. It responded with Peterbilt, Volvo, Freightliner, Mack and Kenworth fielding their own battery electric lineups and putting them into real-world fleet applications.

Ha, that was a nice gotcha from Tesla, huh? We’re… still waiting.

Today, electric truck powertrain technology has leveled the playing field, putting new names like BYD, Lion and Tesla next to those established industry players. Newcomers Lion, BYD, Orange EV, Lightning eMotors, Lonestar, and Motiv were all part of Run on Less—Electric – The North American Council for Freight Efficiency’s electric truck technology demonstration for 2021 – and they helped generate massive amounts of EV application data to study.

While the Tesla Semi is increasingly delayed to prioritize batteries for more profitable electric cars, in September 2021 Hyundai announced it would develop fuel cell variants for all its commercial vehicles by 2028.

Now, hydrogen fuel cells have low prospects in cars due to the high cost, the expensive hydrogen refueling infrastructure, high hydrogen fuel prices and questionable emissions reductions. But the range and refueling advantage for fuel cell electric vehicles means that heavy-duty applications like long-haul trucking or high-mileage bus operations, has progress building for this technology, and it will be interesting to see where it goes in 2022.

Want more EV Impact Show? Click here.

You May Also Like

AMN Drivetime: Continental Tire’s Travis Roffler

Hear Roffler discuss his start in the industry and the passion for automotive that led to his career.

AMN Drivetime Roffler Continental Tire

For many in this industry, the automotive aftermarket is in their blood. They grew up in the business, whether it was wrenching in the summers in high school or hanging out with their parents at their place of work. This was the case for Travis Roffler, who has been the director of marketing of Continental Tire the Americas for almost 18 years and is a tire guy through and through.

Is it time to get excited about V2X EV charging?

Using V2X (bi-directional) charging, fleets could sell energy from their own fleet back to the grid when needed.

Tomorrow’s EV adoption depends on today’s charging standards

EV chargers in the U.S. have no comprehensive standards for the installation, operation, or maintenance … for now.

Impact-Featured-Image-EP72 Highway
Is Ford’s EV plan working?

One of Ford’s biggest opportunities for growth and value creation lands in EV sales.

This is the No. 1 challenge facing EV adoption

Despite EV adoption rates growing, there’s still a lot to learn. Are the top consumer concerns warranted?


Other Posts

STL buys five Lightning eMotors shuttle buses with FAA grant

St. Louis Lambert International Airport taps Lightning eMotors for electric shuttles to move passengers between terminals.

Wawa marks 150th location with EV charging

Wawa celebrated two milestones in its EV journey: 150 EV charging stores and a partnership with Penske Logistics.

World record driver shows off what’s possible in an EV

Multiple-time Guinness World Record holder Rainer Zietlow delves into the challenges of long-distance and extreme-temperature EV driving.

Volvo Trucks, Danfoss collaborate to deploy 24-hour electric trucks

One of the Volvo trucks will operate 24 hours a day, five days per week, without significant charging downtime.