Nigeria: Fact Check - Murray-Bruce Claim On Electric Cars Is Off the Mark

Photo: Vanguard
The five-seater electric car produced by the Engineering Faculty of University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Nigerian senator, Ben Murray-Bruce, on April 25 claimed that "in the next 5 years, more electric cars will be sold than fuel cars."

Unlike conventional vehicles that run on internal combustion engines, electric vehicles (EV) run, at least, partially on electricity or fuel cell.

My Bill to gradually phase out petrol cars was rejected because we're thinking of today. We are not protecting our oil industry by rejecting this Bill. We are only postponing the evil day. In the next 5 years, more electric cars will be sold than fuel cars https://t.co/tbQjuSbMCu

- Ben Murray-Bruce (@benmurraybruce) April 23, 2019

In the age where concern for changing climate and its adverse effect on the environment is gaining more traction, cutting down on the use of fossil fuels, which internal combustion engine (ICE) cars run on, has seen major investments by car manufacturers.

There were a few hundred thousands of EVs in 2014. By 2018, there were already 1.6 million electric vehicles in use. The growth in sales of EVs rode on the back of crumbling cost of lithium-ion batteries, government support for enabling policies, and carmakers' commitment, a 2018 Bloomberg New Energy Finance report says.

Another report by JP Morgan in 2018 shows that EV manufacturers are targeting 2025 to make a major difference. The year is about the same time the Nigerian senator said ICE cars will be outsold by EVs.

But the two industry reports reviewed by The Guardian showed that Senator Murray-Bruce projection is way off the mark.

On the one hand, BloombergNEF projects that the number of electric vehicles in the world will increase from 1.1 million in 2017 to 11 million units in 2025. That number is expected to increase to 30 million units "in 2030 as they become cheaper to make than internal combustion engine cars."

"In 2040, some 60 million EVs are projected to be sold, equivalent to 55% of the global light-duty vehicle market," BloombergNEF says.

On the other hand, a JP Morgan report indicates that by 2025, electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles will account for an estimated 30% of all vehicle sales.

"This leaves pure-ICE vehicles with around 70% of the market share in 2025, with this falling to around 40% by 2030, predominantly in emerging markets."

While it is believed that electric vehicles and its variation will in future take up the larger market share, that time is far into the future than the five years Senator Murray-Bruce claimed.

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