Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) combined will represent 3.1% of worldwide auto sales by 2017, according to a recent report from Pike Research. Also, due to higher penetration rates in the U.S., HEVs and PEVs will account for 5.1% of the nation's total vehicle sales in 2017.
‘[T]he EV market will grow at a rapid clip in the next six years – at a rate of nearly 20 percent a year, compared to fewer than 4 percent for the worldwide market for vehicles of all kinds,” says Dave Hurst, a senior analyst at Pike Research.
Overall, the Asia Pacific region is expected to experience the most rapid growth in the number of PEVs, followed by Europe and North America. There will be 26 models of PEVs available in Asia Pacific by the end of 2011, compared to 23 models in Europe and 10 in North America. However, strong demand for HEVs in North America will lead to the availability of 40 such models by the end of 2012, versus 14 in Asia Pacific.
The report also sized up U.S. PEV manufacturers. The country's PEV market is currently led by two key models, the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf. However, Pike Research anticipates that Ford's model diversification and recharging equipment strategy will shake up the market. Ford will likely take the market lead by 2017, with 23.6% of PEV market share.
Toyota (with a plug-in version of its popular Prius) and General Motors will likely find themselves fighting for second place with 21.1% and 20.7% market share, respectively. Interestingly, start-up Tesla's dealer strategy and high price point are expected to limit its market access. Still, Pike Research expects market share for the start-up to grow to 4.6% by 2017 from 2.2% in 2011.