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EVs Will Account for 45% of U.S. Light Vehicle Sales by 2035

According to new SEMA market research, sales of alternative power vehicles, while currently representing just 5% of all U.S. light vehicle sales today, are expected to reach 45% by 2035.

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Eighteen of the top 20 global automakers, which together represent around 90% of new car registrations worldwide in 2020, plan to widen their portfolio of alternative power models and scale up their production of electric vehicles. However, three-quarters of Americans still prefer gas or diesel and have concerns about charging infrastructure, driving range and price. Also, alternative power vehicles remain a niche market for the specialty equipment industry, accounting for just 1% of specialty equipment retail sales in 2020.

Filled with an in-depth outlook on the landscape of alternative power and electrification in the U.S., the “Emerging Trends: Electrification, Alternative Power and Advanced Technology” report helps companies understand potential implications for the specialty equipment industry and how advanced technologies are becoming part of the new vehicle ecosystem. Key findings from the report include:

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  • There are currently 4.1 million alternative power vehicles on U.S. roads today. This represents 1% of light vehicles in operation.
  • While sales are starting to grow, significant hurdles remain – around range, charging and electrical power generation – in the shift towards more electrified vehicles.
  • As sales of electric and other alternative energy vehicles increase in coming years, it will take a while for current vehicles to cycle out of operation. The average age of a vehicle today is just over 12 years.
  • Alternative power currently represents a very small share of the specialty aftermarket sales but will be more important as their presence grows. In 2020, alternative power accounted for only 1% of specialty equipment retail sales at $0.42 billion.
  • Automakers continue to integrate vehicles with advanced technology to increase safety and comfort on the road. This opens potential growth opportunities for the aftermarket industry in older vehicles.
  • While 58% of drivers want more safety features, 86% say they are afraid of fully autonomous vehicles. They cite safety and liability as their biggest concerns.

To learn more about SEMA’s outlook on electric vehicles and emerging trends and technology, download the new “Emerging Trends: Electrification, Alternative Power and Advanced Technology” report at sema.org/research.

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