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Pike Research forecasts hybrids and plug-ins to grow to 4% of European market in 2020

Pike’s projected vehicle sales by electrified drivetrain, European markets: 2012–2020. Click to enlarge.

Pike Research forecasts that electric vehicles—conventional hybrids (HEVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and battery-electrics (BEVs)—will grow from 0.7% of the market in Europe in 2012 to 4% in 2020. While that is still a small portion of the market, it represents more than 827,000 vehicles per year, Pike notes. The biggest growth is expected in BEVs followed by PHEVs, with HEVs lagging behind.

Pike Research forecasts that by 2020 more than 1.8 million BEVs will be on Europe’s roadways, along with 1.2 million PHEVs and 1.7 million HEVs.

The top six European countries for BEVs on the road in 2020 will be Germany, France, Norway, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Sweden, Pike projects, together representing more than 67% of the total market, with each having a volume in excess of six figures.

In contrast, only four countries are expected to exceed a volume of greater than 100,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles—Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom—representing 52% of the total.

The European transportation market is significantly different from other world regions. With fuel prices significantly higher than in North America for many years, small, efficient gasoline- and diesel-engine cars have led European sales figures. The popularity of diesel has resulted in hybrids not achieving the success in Europe that they have had in North America where the contrast with large V8 vehicles is important to consumers. Hybrid sales have also been strong in Asia Pacific where local buyers have always favored new technology.

In 2011, all-electric vehicles made up just less than 0.1% of the light duty market in Western Europe. France, Germany, and Norway were the sales leaders with more than 2,000 EVs sold in each country, and the United Kingdom was fourth with just over 1,000 units sold. Most sales were to utility companies, businesses, and government agencies despite the generous subsidies offered. The market is still testing the technology and in some cases waiting for the electric charging infrastructure to become established.

—“Electric Vehicles in Europe”



Keep in mind that more than half of cars sold in Eeurope already are much more energy-efficient than cars sold in US, because they are clean diesel cars and their size is reasonable for the most part.

We need much more clean diesel in the US, too. Especially hybrid diesels that can easily get 70mpg for a compact size car.


Yes J7t...the new (2014/2015?) Prius IV HEV will do 60 mpg and a diesel version could do 70 mpg or so.


I doubt that the growth of electrified vehicles sale will be so linear in the next 7 years.

New, higher performance, lower cost batteries may change the game before 2020.


I think their assumption are perfectly reasonable, look the hybrid 16 years after their introduction are still less than 3% of the market, I don't see any reason why EV would do better, and I think that is still quite good if we achieve that. Energy transition typically take place over 30 years or more and EV won't change that. What you don't understand Harvey is that there is more than 10 years between a lab invention and its 1st market introduction then another 10 years to bring down the cost, and another 10 years to ramp up the production. People make a mistake comparing iphone and EV, these 2 markets have complete different dynamics.

Bob Wallace

A hybrid cuts your gas price in half, if you compare it to the average US car.

An EV/PHEV would cut it by four. It would lower your maintenance costs. It would let you avoid all the oil change/going to the gas station inconvenience.

And, I will propose, a significant portion of the public will be looking for something that they, themselves, can do to decrease CO2 emissions.

It may take a certain number of years to get an invention from lab to market and a certain number of years to get the cost down to where the new product is competitive, but once you reach that point markets can switch very rapidly.

Slide rules companies ceased manufacturing two years after the first affordable scientific calculator appeared. Computers quickly killed typewriter manufacturing. Film essentially disappeared in ten years once digital cameras became affordable.

Because cars are more expensive the switch is not likely to be as quick as with slide rules and film cameras, but new car sales could change very quickly. And since about 50% of all US driving is done with five year old and newer cars the portion of miles driven with electricity could grow quite quickly.


We're more likely to see adoption run on a logistic curve.  We're currently in the early exponential runup, where hybrids in the USA have increased their market share considerably in periods of high fuel prices while system costs have come down.  GM's BAS II is another advance, a factory option in some models.  If they can expand production rapidly, they can take advantage of changes in consumer interest.

What's going to happen is that people are going to test drive one, discover that they like it, and it will spread by word of mouth.  Overcapacity in the battery market is an opportunity here, if mfgrs can take advantage of it.  Sadly, certifying a supplier to warranty requirements is likely to take much longer than this market dip will last.



You don't save money with an hybrid (I own one) neither you do with an EV that is why it will not grow quickly because not only you don't save money but also your range is restricted. Last but not least you forgot that ICE powered car are also improving fast which delay the point where EV becomes economically viable. As long as the batteries are based on liquid electrolyte I am not sure if the share of the market for EV will be that significant. But will see...the past don't predict the future, but in europe where the price of gas was very high since the late 70s, it took 30 years for diesel to becomes the main stream, and the technology was already quite advanced.


I don't know how people can afford Gasoline in Europe, so why anyone would go gas-hybrid or straight gas is beyond me...

at first, I was going to write about how the graph looked odd, seeing BEV uptake far higher than Hybrids, then I noticed 'European' in the title.

I for one cannot imagine paying close to $9/gal for gas, even if you do get 40mpg+ (I average 32-33... 35 if I am careful... 45mpg if I milk it on the highway) I wouldn't be able to afford what I have now.

It doesn't make sense in Europe to own a gasoline burner, but from what I see and hear the Uptake on BEVs are rather low all things considered.
Here in the US if I were to purchase a BEV it would need a range of ~240miles highway or it would need to come with a rental for 4 months out of the year. Then I would wonder why I pay for the thing to sit for a third of the year.

Teslas look great, but for me to afford them the price has to drop by half.


These predictions are of little value because neither battery technology advances nor gas prices can be predicted.

Electric vehicles of some sort will probably take over the market rapidly when battery prices drop low enough to make them fiscally sound (and long enough range - maybe affordable EREVs).


Our real problem isn't the high cost of gasoline, nor CO2 emissions. The problem is we drive too much, too far; fly too much, truck and ship goods too much and too far. Reducing by half current amount of travel and transport is almost unquestionably necessary. The Plug-in Hybrid has far more potential to achieve this goal than all-battery BEVs.

Kit P

"You don't save money with an hybrid (I own one) ..."

I agree unless your type of driving matches matches the design of the hybrid.

The difference in mileage between a Corolla or Civic and a similar hybrid is not significant.


A Toyota 2013 Avalon HEV consumes about the same fuel per Km/miles as a Civic or a Corolla and may be more appropriate long long drives with lots of luggage.

A large PHEV will consume even less fuel than a Civic or Corolla.

Large, medium or small BEVs consume no liquid fuel, have very small emission foot print in areas where e-power is produced from clean sources such as Hydro, Nuclear, Wind, Solar, Waves and Geothermal and not from Coal, NG/SG and Oil.

The future (2020 or shortly thereafter) will be with more and more affordable extended range (500 + Km) BEVs using e-power from clean sources. Tesla is showing the way and many more will follow. China will mass produce that type of BEVs by 2020 for about $30K (2012 $$)

Roger Pham

The Feb 2013 issue of Consumer Report listed the Prius (compact category) as having the highest value and lowest cost-per-mile in comparison to much smaller and cheaper subcompacts like the Honda Fit or Corolla. The Camry hybrid likewise score the top spot of cost-effectiveness for mid-size sedans.

This will make more people aware of the cost-effectiveness of hybrids and will propel the grow of this class. This 4% number of hybrids by 2020 is suspect, unless the European economy will sink so low that Europeans won't be able to afford to buy new cars anymore!


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Hybrid Electric Vehicle Market

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