Innogy has set up a subsidiary in California offering charging points for electric vehicles in competition with the top network ChargePoint.

The move comes the same week as research released by Bloomberg pointed to an accelerated evolution to electric vehicle ownership inside the next two decades.
The subsidiary, called Innogy E-Mobility US LLC, will make, market and operate the charge points, the German company, which was spun off from RWE last year, said in a statement.

Innogy has been doing research into electric vehicles with the University of California in San Diego since 2015 and last month announced a project combining charging points made by U.S.-based BTCpower with its own software.

Innogy, the largest Germany energy firm by market value, has about 5,700 electric vehicle charging points and says it is one of the leading operators of car charging infrastructure in Europe.

ChargePoint, the world’s largest network of electric vehicle charging systems with more than 34,500 points in the United States and Mexico, has also been pushing into Europe. Last month, it secured $43 million in financing led by Siemens, which will collaborate with it on the development of charging stations in Europe

Meanwhile Bloomberg New Energy Finance has published analysis, which concludes that electric vehicles will accelerate to 54 per cent of new car sales by 2040.

The forecast, put together by the advanced transport team at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, draws on detailed analysis of likely future reductions in price for lithium-ion batteries and of prospects for the other cost components in EVs and internal combustion engine, or ICE, vehicles. It also factors in the rising EV commitments from automakers and the number of new EV models they plan to launch.

Colin McKerracher, lead advanced transport analyst at BNEF, said: “We see a momentous inflection point for the global auto industry in the second half of the 2020s. Consumers will find that upfront selling prices for EVs are comparable or lower than those for average ICE vehicles in almost all big markets by 2029.”

The forecast shows EV sales worldwide growing steadily in the next few years, from the record 700,000 seen in 2016 to 3 million by 2021. At that point, they will account for nearly 5 per cent of light-duty vehicle sales in Europe, up from a little over 1 per cent now, and for around 4 per cent in both the US and China.

However, the real take-off for EVs will happen from the second half of the 2020s when, first, electric cars become cheaper to own on a lifetime-cost basis than ICE models; and, second – arguably an even more important moment psychologically for buyers – when their upfront costs fall below those of conventional vehicles.

The key component of an EV – the battery – is set to plunge in price, building on recent, remarkable cost declines. Since 2010, lithium-ion battery prices have fallen 73% per kWh. Manufacturing improvements and more than a doubling in battery energy density are set to cause a further fall of more than 70% by 2030.

An executive summary of BNEF’s 2017 electric vehicle forecast can be downloaded from the micro-site via this link.

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