Report: Global electric vehicle sales to grow rapidly through 2020

Global sales of electric vehicles will grow rapidly over the rest of the decade as fuel prices remain high and motorists seek more cost-effective alternatives, a new report says.

Pile Research, a part of Navigant’s energy practice, concluded in a report released this week that electric vehicle sales will reach 3.8 million by 2020.

“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,” says senior research analyst Dave Hurst.  “Indeed, sales of plug-in EVs will grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 40 percent over the remainder of the decade, while the overall auto market will expand by only two percent a year.”

Plug-in electric vehicles include the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt.

Depending on the region of the world, the type of electric vehicle popular with motorists will vary, the report says.

The number of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles sold in most regions is expected to be lower than battery electric vehicles, except for North America and Latin America, the report said, noting that in those regions, the longer driving range of plug-in hybrids are expected to prove more attractive to consumers.

In other regions, the high cost of gasoline and large number of battery electric vehicles available will contribute to the sales increase in such vehicles, the report says.