Thanks to higher penetration rates in the United States, HEVs and PEVs will account for 5.1% of total U.S. vehicle sales in 2017, according to a new study by Pike Research, a market research firm for the clean technology industry.
Overall, the Asia Pacific region is expected to experience the most rapid growth in the number of plug-in electric models, followed by Europe and North America. There will be 26 models of PEVs available in Asia Pacific by the end of 2011, compared to 23 models in Europe and ten in North America.
However, strong demand for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) in North America will lead to the availability of 40 models by the end of 2012, versus 14 HEV models in Asia Pacific.
Within the United States, the PEV market is currently led by two key models, the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf. However, Pike Research anticipates that Ford’s model diversification and recharging equipment strategy will shake up the market. Ford will likely take the market lead by 2017 with 23.6% PEV market share.
Toyota (with a plug-in version of its popular Prius) and General Motors will likely find themselves fighting for second with 21.1% and 20.7% market share, respectively. Interestingly, startup Tesla’s dealer strategy and high price point are expected to limit its market access. Still, Pike Research expects market share for the startup to grow to 4.6% by 2017 from 2.2% in 2011.