Forecast: 3.2M Plug-in Electric Vehicles to be Sold Worldwide between 2010 and 2015; More Than 1M PEVs in 2015

Total global electrified vehicle sales. Pike forecasts that PHEV and BEV sales will reach just over 1 million units in five years (1,081,294 vehicles in 2015), with PHEVs accounting for 44% of that amount. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge.

According to a new report from Pike Research, worldwide adoption of plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) will grow quickly over the next five years, with sales totaling 3.2 million vehicles between 2010 and 2015 and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 107% and 106% CAGR, respectively, between 2010 and 2015. Pike forecasts that sales of such plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) will reach just over 1 million units in five years (1,081,294 vehicles in 2015), with PHEVs accounting for 44% of that amount. (As a point of reference, Nissan anticipates global light-duty vehicle sales of 70 million units this year. Earlier post.)

Pike also forecasts that “traditional” hybrid models will remain important in the next several years as OEMs look to the technology as a tool to meet increasingly tight fuel economy and emissions regulations without adding substantial cost to the vehicle. Pike anticipates HEV growth of 12.7% CAGR between 2010 and 2015 (compared to 4.8% CAGR for the overall light-duty vehicle market).

PHEVs and BEVs will complement, rather than displacing, the market for conventional hybrid electric vehicles. Electric vehicles will follow the lead of hybrids and will be launched in the small car segment for consumer markets initially, with the small SUV segment close behind. Because of their low weight and good aerodynamics, smaller vehicles are far more efficient to better extend the electrically powered driving range, and the smaller vehicle segments also allow the use of a smaller, less expensive battery.

—senior analyst Dave Hurst

Pike expects that the 107% CAGR for the PHEV market will result in global sales of 472,612 units in 2015. Pike Research anticipates that the United States will lead in terms of PHEV volume, with 204,110 PHEVs sold in 2015, followed distantly by Japan with 62,143 units.

While China’s government has been very supportive of PHEVs, Pike Research anticipates that BEVs will capture significant volume in that country. Pike anticipates sales of BEVs in China will reach 262,203 vehicles in 2015 (compared to 47,982 PHEVs) due to strong government support for both battery manufacturers and automakers as well as a population that is familiar with both small vehicles and vehicles that need to be plugged in (electric bicycles and motorcycles).

Overall, Pike projects that China will be the largest market for plug-in electric vehicles, with more than 888,000 PHEVs and BEVs sold by 2015, representing 27% of worldwide sales. The United States will be close behind with 841,000 vehicles sold, or 26% of the global market, according to the report.

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