Market Overview

Electric Vehicles – How Many, How Soon?


C. T. Bauer College of Business Symposium Considered Key Drivers
of the Transformation

The transition from gasoline vehicles to those powered by electric
batteries has the potential to upend the energy industry, but there has
been little consensus about when and how it will happen.

Leaders from the energy, finance and other fields recently met for a
symposium and workshop hosted by the Gutierrez Energy Management
Institute (GEMI) at the C. T. Bauer College of Business to consider the

They agreed recent trends suggest widespread adoption of electric
vehicles appears poised to happen much more quickly than seemed likely
even just a few years ago. The ways in which that is likely to happen,
however, may be different for different parts of the world.

About 40 high-level executives and thought leaders gathered to consider
the implications of a scenario in which battery electric vehicles (BEV)
rapidly penetrate the transportation sector. The purpose was to deepen
understanding of emerging energy trends and to debate the consequences.
Attendees came from the oil, gas, power and renewable energy sectors as
well as investment banks, think tanks and non-profits. UH was
represented by faculty from the business, engineering and law schools,
as well as business school students.

The session began with prepared remarks covering technical challenges of
electric vehicles, the infrastructure requirements and the potential
implications for the oil market.

The participants were then presented with a rapid-penetration scenario
where, by 2040, electric vehicles would represent 100 percent of new
vehicle sales and comprise over 50 percent of the global light duty
vehicle fleet.

Participants worked in small groups to create potential paths to that
outcome, discussing the key drivers for BEV penetration and creating
scenarios that would lead to that rapid penetration. The groups also
discussed the relative importance and degree of difficulty of reaching
the required end state for these key drivers.

Some of the key insights from the symposium include:

  • Consistency of Key Drivers – There was a high level of
    agreement about the important drivers of BEV penetration. These
    included vehicle technology advancement, availability of clean
    electricity supply and related infrastructure, government
    mandates/incentives, demographics and emerging consumer preferences.
  • Multiple Paths to a Rapid Penetration Outcome – A collective
    sense emerged that trends in the key drivers seemed to be converging
    now in a way that suggests a much higher degree of probability for the
    rapid penetration outcome than just a few years ago. In fact, each
    team was able to create a somewhat different path to the
    high-penetration outcome.
  • Regional Differences – The consensus was that the paths to
    rapid penetration are likely to be different for the key regions
    (U.S., Europe, China, and India).

A more detailed paper on the symposium proceedings will be issued

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public
research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the
nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the
globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing
world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry
partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves
more than 45,000 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse
region in the country.

About the C. T. Bauer College of Business

The C. T. Bauer College of Business has been in operation for more than
60 years at the University of Houston main campus. Through its five
academic departments, the college offers a full-range of undergraduate,
masters and doctoral degrees in business. The Bauer College is fully
accredited by the AACSB International – the Association to Advance
Collegiate Schools of Business. In August 2000, Houston business leader
and philanthropist Charles T. (Ted) Bauer endowed the College of
Business with a $40 million gift. In recognition of his generosity, the
college was renamed the C. T. Bauer College of Business.

About the Gutierrez Energy Management Institute

The Gutierrez Energy Management Institute (GEMI) is responsible for the
energy education program in the Bauer College of Business at the
University of Houston. Our scope includes energy-focused degree and
certificate programs for undergraduate and graduate students and energy
professionals. We also develop student internship and consulting project
opportunities in the energy industry and host events to bring industry
executives, faculty and students together to address industry issues.

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