The Obama Administration has made putting a total of 1 million electric vehicles on American roads by 2015 a centerpiece of its transportation policy. In response, automakers in Japan and the United States ramped up production of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) quickly over the last two years.
The practical challenges of launching new models and expanding PEV sales to mainstream consumers, however, have proven more difficult than automakers or policymakers foresaw. According to a new report from Pike Research, around 410,000 PEVs will be sold between 2011 and 2015 in the United States, and cumulative U.S. sales will not reach the pne million mark until 2018.
Nevertheless, PEV sales are expected to ramp up strongly in the second half of this decade. Global PEV sales are expected to surpass one million vehicles per year in 2017 and, by 2020, worldwide sales volumes will reach 1.7 million units annually.
“While it is true that plug-in electric vehicles have seen delays in arriving on the market and have sold in fewer numbers than originally anticipated, we expect strong growth as global PEV sales volumes will nearly triple between 2012 and 2014,” says research director John Gartner. “Automotive companies have made a strong commitment to electric vehicles, and their viability as a transportation platform is no longer in doubt.”
As the market for electric vehicles matures, Gartner adds, significant regional differences in adoption patterns will emerge. For example, while plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) will outsell battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in North America, the converse is true in Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, auto manufacturer strategies continue to evolve – the lion’s share of companies making PEVs are doing so at a very measured pace, carefully vetting new technologies and consumer preferences with a sharp focus on regional differences in demand. All are optimistic about the long-term prospects for the PEV sector, but the industry remains focused on growing cautiously, at the pace of market demand.
Pike Research’s report, “Plug-in Electric Vehicles”, examines the global market landscape for PHEVs and BEVs, including a detailed analysis of market drivers and barriers, technology issues, policy and regulatory factors, and the competitive landscape of OEMs and key suppliers. Detailed market forecasts are provided through 2020, segmented by world region and vehicle category. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.