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EPRI: lifetime cost of ownership of plug-ins is roughly comparable with conventional vehicles

Navigant forecasts hybrids to account for almost 4% of global LDV sales by 2020, plug-ins 3%

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.



Market penetration of HEVs, PHEVs and BEVs varies and will continue to vary between countries. Japan's sales have already surpassed the 2020 forecast but Canada is a long way behind.

Current very low liquid fuel cost in USA does not help the transition. A progressive fuel price increase (from $4 to 8$/gal) would help to accelerate the transition while generating the funds required to better maintain the roads and bridges and finance the incentives for electrified vehicles and charging stations.

The Canadian Oil Producers Association published a fully page Ad today saying that the current fixing of lower crude price in USA ($85 versus $110/barrel) is costing (Canada) i.e. those poor producers $40,000,000/day in lost revenues. This is being published to support the construction of new Trans-Mountain Pipelines and new Pipelines to the East Coast to diversify Canadian Crude oil sales @ $110/barrel.


'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.'

That makes no sense to me.
Why would BEV pack costs remain constant?

Roger Pham

The Auto MFG's have very important role in the growth of PEV's. Future growth of PEV's will be highly depended on how they will design, market, and price PEV's. If they choose to just do minimal offering and minimal marketing of PEV's like they are doing now, then, yes, the market share of PEV's will be only 4% by 2020. However, if they would wholeheartedly design and promote PEV's like they were promoting SUV's 1-2 decades ago, then, we may see a much more rapid growth of PEV's. But then again, there aren't as much incentive for promoting PEV's as for SUV's, since the profit margin for PEV's are lower than for SUV's. The fact that PEV's have lower overall lifetime costs than ICEV's is one of the best-kept secret, and until the public realize that, market share of PEV's will remain low!


BEV packs will probably be scaled up in energy (range), rather than down in price.  The exception may be Tesla, which already appears to have adequate range.

In other news, I burned more gasoline in my lawnmower yesterday than I used in my car the last 2 weeks.

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