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Pike report ranks Chevrolet as current leader in the plug-in vehicle market

3 October 2012

Pike-Pulse-Grid
Pike Pulse grid of the PEV market. Click to enlarge.

A new report by Pike Research assessing the plug-in vehicle (PEV) strategy and execution of 16 leading vendors ranks Chevrolet as the current leader in the PEV market, due to its high ratings in both strategy and execution, closely followed by Renault. Pike rates Toyota and Nissan as very close contenders for leadership, though both have either product portfolio or pricing issues that limited their scoring in Pike’s evaluation. Pike calls Ford is the “sleeping giant” of the PEV market, with a strong strategy but unproven products that have yet to launch.

Pike Research forecasts that despite robust growth in the PEV market, sales will fall short of expectations set by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and politicians in 2010 and 2011. Globally, Pike Research anticipates the market for PEVs will grow from 137,950 vehicles in 2012 to 1.75 million in 2020. Pike expects the US to remain the largest single market through the forecast period, with annual sales reaching 400,073 vehicles by 2020.

In preparing the rankings for the “Pike Pulse Report: Plug-In Electric Vehicles”, the company used criteria including vision; go-to-market strategy; partners; production strategy; technology; geographic reach; sales, marketing, and distribution; product performance; product quality and reliability; product portfolio; pricing; and staying power. Pike then categorized the companies as Leaders, Contenders, Challengers or Followers.

  • Chevrolet (combined Strategy and Execution score of 81.4) and Renault (combined score of 77.9) are the only two in the Leaders group due to their respective product portfolios, product strategy, and vision of the PEV market. Pike Research found that Chevrolet and Renault are well-poised for growth in the coming years, and both hold strong positions in the market, which will enable them to respond effectively to future changes.

  • Ford, Toyota, Nissan and Tesla are in the Contenders group. Pike says that Toyota and Nissan are limited by narrow product portfolios while Ford, although poised for growth with a broad portfolio of PEVs and flexible manufacturing, has not fully executed its plans. Furthermore, the reliance on Azure for the BEV Transit Connect “has proven ill fated”. Pike considers Tesla a Contender facing a number of challenges (limited funding and challenging path to market) but with strong product and big future vehicle plans.

  • Challengers include Smart and BMW (strategy outpacing execution) and Mitsubishi and CODA Automotive, which face various sales-related issues. Honda is new to the PEV market and with a weak strategy rating. Fisker Automotive is on the cusp of joining the Challengers category, falling short due to funding and quality issues, as well as products targeted at a niche of wealthy consumers.

  • Followers are manufacturers that have not yet launched product and therefore have lower execution scores. Audi and Volkswagen are the strongest of this group.

October 3, 2012 in Batteries, Forecasts, Hybrids, Plug-ins | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

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Azure was so tiny a company that ford could has bought them with pocket change, so, was that an intentional failure? It certainly wasn't beyond fords control.

The Volt is a good car but over priced. GM could do better on price, but maybe they are afraid of legal issues, sort of like what Nissan is dealing with regarding the Leaf. It does appear that lawyers can fear up any kind of money making attempt, and courts appear willfully ignorant of technology, but then they are lawyers too. The leaches on our a$$es.

Is it just me or does it appear that the hatred on the right for Obama is being used to destroy everything he supports regardless of whether it might be good for the country or not. I mean GM is a conservative company. They had Bob Lutz, which puts them in the loony tunes realm if you ask me, but the right would rather destroy GM and the Volt than have the president have one single success.

Hey media sell outs, isn't that a story? Hello, are there any brains functional in the world of "journalism".

I have not driven the Volt, but feel they have done the best job of answering all the questions & needs that owners have. The range assist is paramount to owners not having range anxiety. I am not surprised that GM priced the vehicle a bit higher than we all would like. Presumably when they have a longer track record and the risk of problems decreases, they will be able to price the car a bit more competitively. It is easy to criticize them, but I feel they have produced a winning combination.

My understanding (memory of events) is that the focus from Hydrogen powered cars to the Plug-in EV, happened during the Bush administration, with the blessings of the Administration. Bush Sr bought a Volt for son, Jeb. Let's give the other side some credit for one thing it was doing right/RIGHT!

The Volt out classes the Leaf, Prius etc by so much that I think of it as competition for sports cars that currently sell for considerable more, be they ICEs, or other.....yet it holds 4 tall passengers comfortably. Take a test drive in the Prius, Leaf, BMW and Volt before you complain about what you have not experienced.

I forgot to mention that the last remaining piece of the "ease of use" puzzle is that GM needs to add a wireless inductive charging unit. This will be placed on your garage floor so you can park over it, and at your specified time in the night, the charger will turn on and recharge the batteries. This will get rid of the plugging and unplugging that we will all soon start complaining about.

I've test drove the Volt, Leaf, and Prius.
the Volt does drive much better than the Prius, but the Prius's roomy interior makes it much more versatile than the Volt. So, I don't think they are targeting the same buyer characteristics.

Ford did not buy Azure so that Ford could fail? That makes NO sense.

"GM could do better on price"?

That is just stupid. You really think you know the best price to minimize loses and GM does not? Ludicrous.

You think you pick the right price and magically profit is guaranteed regardless of cost? You do, don't you.

"Is it just me or does it appear that the hatred on the right for Obama is being used to destroy everything he supports regardless . . ."

It's clearly just you.

Lutz and Wagoner are partially responsible for this sad state of affairs - an American car leading in part of the green field.


IMHO GM is sole real contender on plug-in market as Toyota on hybrid market. The graph is misleeding.

Toyota electrified hybrid sales are many times Chevrolet's and the margin is widening fast. Toyotas sales increased +41% in Canada on a year to year basis while GM's did not move and Ford went down. Chrysler did better with +12%.

Harvey,

That may be true about hybrids, however this article is about plug-ins. The plug-in Prius only sells a fraction of the Volt's numbers.

I wouldn't be surprised if Smart was near (or in) the top quadrant at this time next year. Their plug-in (which just started selling in Europe) is much more focused and competitively priced than almost all contenders.

There is a fine line between HEVs and PHEVs, especially the Toyotas. Since Toyotas PHEVs version (modified HEVs with larger batteries) have only been on the market place for a very short time, it is rather unfair to compare them with the GM/Volt.

Toyotas PHEVs, soon to be equipped with improved batteries, will outsell GM PHEVs by a very wide margin very shortly.

Toyotas HEVs are further ahead than all other HEVs combined.

In 2012 Toyota has increased its world share of electrified vehicles from 52% (in 2011) to 57% (up to end of September in 2012) and increasing month by month. Plug-ins are only one version.

Toyota's PHEVs and BEVs will pick up and lead the pack when current Nimh and Si batteries are replaced with their new solid states battery are mass produced.

It's awfully early in the electrified vehicle game to be talking about winners and losers. Drivers are just starting to understand what driving without liquid fuel is all about.

The Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius PHEV, and Chevy Volt aren't interchangeable. If you've got a very modest daily driving pattern then the plug-in Prius might be best. A bit longer daily drive but no need for long distance drives, then the Leaf. If the Prius doesn't give you enough range for your 'daily' and you need long range capability then the Volt might work best.

To count unit sales and say that one is winning is something like counting sedan, minivan and pickup sales and declaring a winner. What you're really measuring is demand for different types of vehicles.

At some point we could start comparing the Leaf to the MiEV, FiT EV, Focus EV, and other moderately priced pure EVs. But it's too soon. Give it five years or so.

Good point Bob. I wouldn't worry too much about current PHEVs comparative short e-range. It will improve as soon as batteries performance improves and price per $$$/kWh comes down.

Currently, due to rather low batteries performance (Wh/Kg) and very high price, PHEVs with smaller batteries (good for 10 to 15 miles) may represent a better solution/deal than PHEVs with much larger batteries (good 30 to 40 miles). However, that may not long be true by 2020 or so. Future improved lower cost batteries will probably make 50+ miles PHEVs affordable.

Good point Bob. I wouldn't worry too much about current PHEVs comparative short e-range. It will improve as soon as batteries performance improves and price per $$$/kWh comes down.

Currently, due to rather low batteries performance (Wh/Kg) and very high price, PHEVs with smaller batteries (good for 10 to 15 miles) may represent a better solution/deal than PHEVs with much larger batteries (good 30 to 40 miles). However, that may not long be true by 2020 or so. Future improved lower cost batteries will probably make 50+ miles PHEVs affordable.

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