An electric future: our predictions for 2021

Five predictions for the electric vehicle industry:

We have seen the industry change substantially over the last five years but where will it go from here? We’ve asked the team to give us their collective Top 5 electric vehicle predictions for the next five years. We’d also love to hear from others on what you think the future holds for the sector – tell us in the comments.

1. Every other car will be electric

This is quite a bold statement since the number of electric cars currently only represents 0.13% of total vehicles licensed. However, we have to have be ambitious if the UK is ever going to meet its Committee on Climate Change (CCC) targets for ULEV uptake. We hope that by 2021, the idea of electric cars will be a familiar one to every home and choosing an electric car is the default position. But if our electric vehicle prediction does come true, that’s 18 million licensed electric cars on the road. Just think of the implications on charging and more importantly power. Which leads us to our next prediction….


2. Filling stations of the future

Once more models are on the roads, with different battery sizes and therefore different charging times, we’re inevitably going to see changes in charging patterns. More powerful batteries mean that people will need to charge for longer but they will be doing so less frequently. Urban 7kWh charging may no longer be what the masses need – with vehicles more suited to taking a rapid charge. Therefore we believe recharging stations, made up of multiple chargers delivering up to 350kWh of power will be commonplace in Cities and on the main highways of the UK. We’ll be seeing the first of these as early as 2017. By 2021, we imagine that we’ll have a model that incorporates coffee shops, supermarket chains, amazon collection points and more.

3. Wireless charging

It may not be commonplace but we hope that we will be seeing static wireless charging at least being trialled on streets by 2021. With almost half of the housing stock in the UK without off-street parking, this is going to be a vital piece of the jigsaw to remove the barrier to charging for many. Add autonomous parking into the picture and we could be seeing some phenomenal trials of self-parking / charging cars which are able to move as demand dictates.

(Editor’s note: This prediction does not necessarily reflect the views of our MD Colin Herron who remains cynical about induction charging).

4. E-mobility integration with public transport options

From the way we pay for our charging through to smarter travel planning which incorporates route planning and charging intelligence, we anticipate that by 2021 electric cars will be fully integrated into public transport options by 2021. The concept of Mobility as a Service is already being introduced into Cities and electric cars will be an integral part of the consumer choice through carsharing and ridesharing.


5. The smart car and the home

It’s been a long time coming but we’re sure that by 2021 we will be seeing the vehicle fully integrated with the house as part of the energy mix. Smart logic will be used to decide where energy is coming from in the home – whether that’s from solar panels or the car as being part of the fuel options available. We’re already looking at a real-life demonstration of the future home in the North East and we hope that by 2021 some of those homes will be occupied.


  1. 100% with you – and I’m confident that wireless will feature widely (Worth noting that Ricardo work with Qualcomm amongst others in scoping vehicle design architectures to include this) For sure the charging infrastructure element is the current ‘missing-link’ but there are close-market players looking to progress here (as I imagine you know well) And once we get into 2017 and beyond and see a broader choice of 200 mile range product…

  2. Don’t know how far wireless charging will become efficient in terms of time for charging and efficiency.. the rest I agree with completely..

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