According to a new white paper by ABI Research, 2021 will kickstart a decade of growing electric vehicle (EV) adoption, which will see EV sales move from a rounding error of total new vehicle shipments to over a quarter of new vehicles shipping in 2030.
In the white paper, “68 Technology Trends That Will Shape 2021,” ABI Research’s analysts identify 37 trends that will shape the technology market and 31 others that, although attracting huge amounts of speculation and commentary, are less likely to move the needle over the next 12 months.
“For success in 2021, especially after a very challenging 2020, one must understand fundamental trends early and take a view on those trends that are buoyed by hyperbole and those that are sure to be uncomfortable realities,” said Stuart Carlaw, chief research officer at ABI Research. “Now is the time to double down on the right technology investment.”
What Will Happen in 2021
Electric Vehicles Begin Their Slow Entry into the Automotive Mainstream
“This transition from niche to mainstream will be built on the introduction of low-cost EV models that satisfy the typical mileage requirements at an acceptable price point,” said James Hodgson, smart mobility and automotive principal analyst at ABI Research.
As EV owners shift from the legacy of environmentally conscious, enthusiastic technology first adopters to more typical automotive consumers, OEMs will need to develop more innovative approaches to the life cycle management of EVs.
“Smart charging technologies, support for occasional direct current (DC) fast charging, and battery management will be critical in supporting mainstream consumers in their transition from ICEs to EV ownership,” said Hodgson.
What Won’t Happen in 2021
New Vehicle Shipments Won’t Snap Back to Business as Usual
“The first half of 2020 saw the market for new vehicles implode, contracting by around 70%,” says Hodgson. “COVID-19 and the measures taken to contain the spread of the virus dealt a double blow to the already faltering automotive market, disrupting supply chains and depriving the industry of the bricks-and-mortar retail environment on which it heavily relies.”
Many OEMs reported a return to growth in 3Q 2020 as offset demand from 1H 2020, manifested in a summer period that saw many governments lift restrictions and allow auto dealerships to reopen. According to Hodgson, “Moving into 2021, however, the automotive industry should not expect a return to the new vehicle sales volumes of recent years. The market size is expected to remain subdued until 2024 given the prospect of repeated lockdowns, long-term remote working and a bleak macroeconomic outlook.”
For more trends that will – and won’t – happen in 2021, download the whitepaper, “68 Technology Trends that Will Shape 2021: Predictions for What Will and Will Not Happen in The Year Ahead.”