|Annual light duty electric vehicle sales by drivetrain, world markets: 2013-2020. Source: Navigant Research. Click to enlarge.|
In its latest forecast for hybrid and plug-in electric vehicle sales, Navigant Research expects that hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), which today account for about 2% of global light duty vehicle sales, will grow to almost 4% of global LDV sales by 2020.
The company also expects, despite the challenges of new technology, that plug-in electric vehicles will grow rapidly in many regions as a result of rising fuel prices, falling PEV prices, and increasing availability of PEV models. The result is a PEV market that will reach 3 million vehicles sold in 2020, representing 3% of the global light-duty vehicle market.
In addition to expecting increasing availability of plug-in models, key assumptions in the updated Navigant forecast include:
Current government incentives offered worldwide will remain in place throughout the forecast period, but are unlikely to be increased.
Stronger regulations on fuel economy and emissions will encourage manufacturers to continue to further develop PHEV and BEV products.
Battery packs, which can account for as much as half of PEV costs, are expected to decrease during the forecast period. HEVs and PHEVs are anticipated to see a 10% and 26% decline in pack costs by 2020, respectively, while BEVs will likely remain flat, but see improvements in vehicle range and performance during that period.
The prices of petroleum-based fuels are anticipated to continue to climb throughout the forecast period. Based on a rolling average of historic prices, global gasoline and diesel prices are anticipated to increase at 7.2% and 8.3% compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) between 2013 and 2020.
Sales of light duty vehicles overall have suffered during the economic downturn in recent years. While North America and Asia Pacific are projected to continue to rebound in 2013 and 2014, the rebound in Western and Eastern Europe is not expected to be as robust. The result is a global light duty vehicle market that will grow at a CAGR of 2.4% between 2013 and 2020.
Navigant Research forecasts global CAGRs of 11.5% for HEVs, 31.9% for pug-in hybrids (PHEVs), and 31.5% for battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). Among the specific projections:
Asia Pacific and North America will be the largest markets for HEVs, with Japan and the United States being the largest singular markets (1.1 million and 1 million HEV sales in 2020, respectively).
North America is the only market anticipated to have significantly higher sales of PHEVs than BEVs (a 1.5:1 sales ratio); Western Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America will be almost evenly split between the drivetrains.
Asia Pacific is projected to be the largest market for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), with 1.6 million PHEV and BEV sales combined in 2020.
Navigant expects Japan to be the leading market for PEV sales in 2020, with nearly 900,000 vehicles sold that year.