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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.



This seems to indicate that USA will go for PHEVs and China for BEVs for first generation electrified vehicles.

Second generation batteries, with twice the performance and half the price per Kwh will accelerate the introduction of second generation electrified vehicles after 2015.

By 2020, we could have four times as many electrified vehicles as 2015. The majority may be BEVs.


Harvey I am going to think that you are a spam from the battery industry who keep repeating the same prediction based on your crystal bowl. We simply don't know what will be the rate of adoption of PHEV BEV, for sure if the range doesn't extend and the price doesn't drop, the rate of adoption will be nil. So far they don't have the magic recipe to drop the price of Li-ion battery to the scale to the car industry needs.


Are you buying a Volt or Leaf, or have/will buy a Prius?


Interesting predictions. We suspect that we will see even higher sales of both PHEVs and BEVs if the price of gasoline continues its rise. With Cali gas at $3.20 average - and predictions to go higher over the next four years - people in California will be seriously considering EVs.

Expecting 3.2 million EVs by 2015 is a very positive indicator and should serve to stimulate more entries into the EV arena. Let's remember that ANY EV variation is a GOOD THING for enviros, economists, job seekers, and security interests. We are moving forward with the greatest of vigor!


If peak oil comes and an OPEC member decides to play hardball, not only will gasoline be over $4 per gallon, but we may not be able to get it. At that time, all those people with EVs will be smiling all the way to the bank.


According to the diagram presented by the authors, it looks as the PHEV/BEV sales curve will start in mid 2010. This indicates that we already in a couple of months will see if the prediction is right or wrong.


SJC, i agree. Further, the best thing that could happen to EVs is a price spike for gas. Conversely, if gas prices drop, interest in EVs will languish.


In Europe, the gasoline price is over $6 per gallon in many countries. That has not given us a market for EVs. You have to be rich to own an EV. If you smile all the way to the bank, it is most likely for other reasons than owning an EV. Perhaps you are one of those people.


Panasonic claims that the price of EV batteries will go down almost 25% this year and that future similar price drops should be expected. Pan also says that many smaller producers may quit due to competition.

Nissan says that by 2015, their Leaf will be using their second generation batteries which will double e-range.

Those are not crystal ball projections.

BEVs performance will progress rapidly and price will come down with the arrival of lower cost higher performance batteries and more competition from China, Korea, India, Japan etc. There is no reason why a BEV should cost more than an equivalent ICE vehicle by 2020/2025.

Lets not forget that BEVs (and EV batteries) are in fact in their very first year and that market will build up in the next five years.

TM: The bet buy right now may be a Prius HEV or PHEV if you can get one. The Volt PHEV is also a good choice. BEVs will be the right choice in about 5 years.



TM: The best (repeat best NOT bet)......

Our 2 Camrys are rather recent and could easily last till 2015. At that time we will see what is available and at what price and performance level. If we were to buy one new car today, it could be one HEV (Prius III) or equivalent (a 2012 Sonata HEV/PHEV?) followed by a second generation BEV in 2015/2016 or so. The availability of higher performance HEV-PHEV-BEV will expand rapidly in the next five+ years.


It's really hard to beat a Prius today.
After taxes, and all the misc. charges one has to pay for cars, a 2010 Prius (package #2) is ~$26,000 (Dealer Invoice around $22,5000). If the leaf starts off at $25,000 MSRP, add the charging station and the other misc costs and you again are looking at $30,000 - purely a choice for rich treehuggers only. - Good point by Peter X X.

Harvey, I'll agree with you that "real" EV batteries are about to experience their first year of production. I don't concede that the lead acid batteries of yore were "real".

Laptop batteries progressed at a snails pace of about 3% per year for a decade or two. Hopefully we'll get some serious R&D going and get cars and laptops that don't need to be plugged in too much.

A 20yr transition period is a short time by standards of 50yrs ago. It may prove to only take 10 or 15 yrs today - a lot more researchers collaborating and working on problems with much more sophisticated tools.

Honestly, I hate going to convenience stations to fill up. I don't find them convenient at all. Similarly, I think I'd hate to plug my car in before bedtime ever day too. We shall see.


I think the oil producers know what the thresholds are. You price too high and substitutions start to enter. So they want to maximize profit while not encouraging substitutes like EV and/or FFV. That is not too hard to do.


TM: You may need a PHEV or BEV with an automatic plug-in mechanism or a wireless charger. Both will exist shortly.

If one can plug a fighter jet to a tanker at high speed, one could drive/park a PHEV/BEV into a plug-in mechanism with very little training.
Floor guide rails (similar to automatic car wash) could help. Alternatively, a home charger equipped with a simple robotic arm could do it.

J Chen

The more cost effective way to get a PHEV for hybrid owners is getting a conversion kit at $2500 for 4KWH system. It is available on Ebay under keyword PHEV. There are over two million hybrids in the world. So 3.2 million PHEV by 2015 is doable.


That is absurd, NO way can you convert a car to true PHEV for $2500. Please provide a link as a reference to your assertions.


I'm still waiting for this;
To become martket ready.


I think Kramer has it wrong, when you look at the costs of converting a car to EV/HEV/PHEV it is not worth it. Some conversions might work, but in general I do not think so. Toyota, Ford and others will have to come out with the PHEVs at good prices. Now that the Volt is coming to market, they might just be motivated.

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