Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts plug-in electric vehicles could account for up to 9% of US auto sales in 2020 and 22% in 2030
Plug-in electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles, have the potential to make up 9% of US auto sales in 2020 and 22% in 2030 (1.6 million and 4 million vehicle sales respectively), according to research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). However, achieving such growth level will be dependent on two key factors: aggressive reductions in battery costs and rising gasoline prices.
In the short term, price will be the most significant limitation to the uptake of both plug-in hybrid vehicles like the GM Volt and fully electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, BNEF said. The median base price of autos sold between July 2009 and June 2010 in the US was $21,800. By comparison, the Nissan Leaf will cost $26,280 after federal subsidies (including an allowance for charger installation), which is a higher price point than three quarters of all new auto sales.
The BNEF forecast is based on first identifying the addressable market for plug-in vehicles—i.e., those consumer segments which can afford the vehicle, have suitable range requirements and have access to an appropriate location for charging.
The second step models the proportion of consumers within the addressable market that might actually purchase such a vehicle.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that in 2011, the GM Volt will be targeting an addressable market of 7% of total US auto sales, and the Nissan Leaf 11%. However, actual sales will be much lower and limited by vehicle availability.
The model also forecasts sensitivity to gas prices, which will have a considerable effect on uptake. Rises in electricity prices do not affect sales as severely, Bloomberg New Energy Finance concludes, as fuel costs are a lower proportion of the total cost of ownership for electric vehicles.
Once we’ve seen the launch of mainstream plug-in electric vehicles, we’ll have much more empirical data on consumer reactions, which will be vital in future forecasts.—Glen Walker, lead transportation analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Last week, J.D. Power released a forecast projecting combined global sales of hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) will total 5.2 million units in 2020, or some 7.3% of the 70.9 million passenger vehicles forecasted to be sold worldwide by that year. (Earlier post.) Of those, J.D. Power projected 1.3 million would be battery-electric vehicles (about 1.8% of the market).
More bullish, PRTM estimates that by 2020 EVs will have a 4-5% adoption rate; plug in hybrid electric vehicles will be at 5-6%; and hybrid electric vehicles will reach 20%.