Worldwide sales of light-duty plug-in electric vehicles – including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles – will hit 3 million units annually in 2020, according to a new study from Navigant Research.
While hybrid electric vehicles have largely been accepted as a part of the general automotive market in many regions, plug-in electric vehicles remain a new technology facing the challenges inherent in all new markets. Nevertheless, according to Navigant, the combination of rising fuel prices, falling plug-in electric vehicle prices, and increasing availability of plug-in electric vehicle models will drive rapid growth in this segment over the next several years.
“In its earliest days, the market for plug-in electric vehicles experienced both a great deal of hype and intense skepticism,” says Dave Hurst, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “Neither scenario has proven true, as the plug-in electric vehicle market continues to grow rapidly – about 150 percent between 2011 and 2012 – but remains a very small part of the overall global automotive market, with 0.2 percent market share in 2012.”
The limited availability of plug-in electric vehicles has been an inhibiting factor for growth in a number of large vehicle markets, including the United States, Germany, France, China, and other Asia Pacific countries. However, many of these limitations will be reduced over the next two years, according to the report, as new vehicles from Honda, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and others are launched in a broad range of countries.