This Tuesday's Planet Money from NPR has an interesting interview with Daniel Yergin, one of the world's leading figures on energy issues. In this episode of this wonderful, down to Earth economics program, we learn the history of the first Electric Vehicles as well as their likely future in the next 20 years.
The main take-away is that Yergin predicts 3% penetration of EVs by 2030, which doesn't seem unreasonable. I often like to compare the EV revolution to the Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) revolution of the first decade of the twenty-first century. Strictly speaking, the comparison isn't completely fair since Hybrid Electric Vehicle technology is a lot easier to adapt to existing technology than pure Battery Electric Vehicles are. That said, according to this article in 2009 HEVs represented about 3% of vehicles on the road. I generally think that therefore by 2022 we should see about 3% of the cars in the United States to be BEV and PHEVs, so 20 years for full BEV penetration to reach 3% is a definite possibility, if not sooner.
Anyway, check out the Tuesday 11 October 2011 episode of Planet Money entitled The Future of Energy. I only hope this inspires them to do more stories about the economics of electric vehicles!