Hybrid electric vehicles, which first appeared a decade earlier, are now selling steadily in those regions as well.
Sales of EVs have not lived up to automakers’ expectations and politicians’ proclamations, but the market is expanding steadily as fuel prices remain high and consumers increasingly seek alternatives to internal combustion engines.
However, according to a new report from Pike Research, annual worldwide sales of plug-in electric vehicles will reach 3.8 million by 2020.
Hybrid electric vehicles are forecast to be the largest segment of electrified vehicles throughout the forecast period, with sales anticipated to reach 2.1 million in 2020, or 2.1% or the total vehicle market compared to 1.8% for plug-in electric vehicles.
Despite political targets that are likely to be missed, these assumptions point to robust growth worldwide for electric vehicles, with hybrids growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6%, and plug-in electric vehicles (combined plug-in hybrid and battery electric) growing at a CAGR of 39% between 2012 and 2020.
Japan, the United States, and China are anticipated to be the largest markets, with Japan accounting for between 45% and 50% of the global hybrid electric vehicle market.
While Japan is anticipated to be the largest market for hybrids in 2020 accounting between 45% and 50%, the United States is anticipated to be the largest market for plug-in electric vehicles that year. However, European countries, with the combination of high gas prices and supportive government policies, are anticipated to have the highest concentrations of plug-in electric vehicles.
The plug-in electric vehicle sector can be split into two vehicle categories, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles. According to the report, the number of plug-in hybrids sold in most regions is expected to be lower than battery electric vehicles, except for North America and Latin America. In these regions, the longer driving range of plug-in hybrids is expected to prove more attractive to consumers. In other regions, the high cost of petroleum fuels, large number of battery electric vehicles available, and dense urban areas are anticipated to contribute to higher sales of battery electric vehicles than plug-in hybrids.