Ian Johnston, CEO of Osprey Charging
Recently, sales of traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles have been shrinking and now sit in a permanent global decline, predicted to be 19% below their 2017 peak in 2025.
However, electric vehicles (EVs) are bucking the trend. December 2022 marked the first time fully electric vehicles have outsold petrol and the second year running that they have outsold diesel. This growth is set to continue, with policy pressure and an upward shift in consumer demand resulting in more and more EVs hitting the market. In fact, there is an expected trajectory to 20.6 million sales globally by 2025 – a staggering increase of 14 million from 2021 figures.
With this market growth predicted, it’s no wonder that investment interest in the electric vehicle sector is at an all-time high. By 2025 EVs are forecast to have a 39% sales share in China and Europe, and some markets are set to accelerate even faster. In Germany, the UK and France, EVs are predicted to have a share of 40-50% of automotive sales by 2025. Car manufacturers are themselves investing nearly $1.2 trillion through to 2030 to develop and produce electric vehicles, along with investment into the battery technology and raw materials to support production. 
The impact of the EV transition is not limited solely to vehicles. There is also strong investment potential in businesses across the entire EV landscape. Charging is an example of this, as such intense growth in car sales needs to be matched by public infrastructure which will upscale rapidly over the coming years to meet demand. By 2040 some 350-500 million chargers will be needed across all locations globally, with chargers outside the home accounting for 40-60 million of these. As battery technology development continues to reduce charging time, it’s getting easier to drive and re-charge EV.
Private investment is already propelling growth and market confidence for investors in this area and many governments also understand the need for private-sector support in building charging networks. The UK rapid charging industry is planning a tenfold expansion of public chargers within the next decade to meet the predicted EV numbers, and is in close consultation with government to remove barriers to this deployment. At Osprey Charging, mass deployment of our public rapid charging hubs continues to move forward at pace and we expect to more than double the size of the network in 2023 from 450 to over 1000 rapid charge points. In June the White House announced its goal of building a national network of 500,000 EV chargers along highways and in communities by 2030.
The US is further driving a shift towards EVs through legislation, with its electrification coalition offering purchase incentives and funding for charging infrastructure, EV manufacturing and supply chains. They are not alone; the Chinese government has established an EV credit system which mandates that a certain percentage of all vehicles sold by a manufacturer each year must be battery-powered. With 21 EU member states offering incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles, there is a clear and definite legislative ‘push’ towards electric.
One and a half million barrels per day of oil usage are already being displaced by EVs – and there is no doubt that we are at the tipping point for EVs now. Tipping points are often the ideal time to get into a new market from an investment point of view. Set for rapid and sustained long-term growth, those that back the companies enabling this whole-ecosystem change stand to make significant returns.