While hybrid electric vehicles have largely been accepted as a part of the general automotive market in many regions, plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) remain a new technology facing the challenges inherent in all new markets. Nevertheless, according to a new report from Navigant Research, the combination of rising fuel prices, falling electric vehicle prices, and increasing availability of plug-in models will drive rapid growth in this segment over the next several years.
Worldwide sales of light duty plug-ins, including both plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs), will reach 3 million units annually in 2020, representing 3 percent of the total light duty vehicle market, the study concludes.
“In its earliest days, the market for PEVs 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 PEV 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 PEVs has been an inhibiting factor for growth in a number of large vehicle markets, including the U.S., 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.