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Published on August 12th, 2014 | by Joshua S Hill

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Electric Vehicle Sales Expected To Grow Globally To 1.8 Million By 2023

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August 12th, 2014 by
 
The rise of the electric vehicle has been predominantly centered in North America and Europe, but new figures from Navigant Research predict that the Asia Pacific region will soon become the largest market for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).

As a result, Navigant predicts that sales of PEVs throughout North America, Western Europe, and Asia Pacific will grow from 352,000 annually in 2014 to 1.8 million in 2023.

“PEVs are becoming more available and more price-competitive, both geographically and in vehicle segments outside of small and luxury car classes,” says Scott Shepard, research analyst with Navigant Research. “That is expanding the universe of potential PEV buyers beyond the narrow demographics of early adopters to a wider market that is similar to that for hybrid electric vehicles.”

The largest markets expected during the forecast period are all urban, as befits the electric vehicle with its limited-range. According to the report, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Paris will yield PEV sales in 2023 of 49,000, 39,000, and 25,000 vehicles, respectively.

The North American market is currently the largest for light duty plug-in electric vehicles, selling nearly 100,000 in 2013, followed by Japan in a distant second with just under 30,000 sales.

Electric vehicle sales have been seen to be increasing for several years now. The Energy Policy Information Center released a series of charts showing the growth of electric vehicles in the US, and over the past several years there has been a marked improvement in sales across the board.

chart-1

With gas prices continuing to rise and electric vehicle technology becoming more cost-effective to develop and manufacture, these numbers are only going to continue to grow — and will grow outside of the United States as well.

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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, a liberal left-winger, and believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.



  • NRG4All

    There are some hurdles though. First, there is a reluctance of some car dealerships to encourage EV sales because the maintenance is practically non-existant in relation to an ICE car. Second, as with Tesla, there are dealership organizations that are doing their best to lobby politicians against Tesla even though with lower maintenance a car dealership is just a middle-man taking their share.

  • wattleberry

    So, unless one is affluent enough for it not to matter, it wouldn’t make sense to buy a new ICEV because of imminent obsolescence. Ditto for EVs.
    Thank goodness for the well-healed who will, as usual, subsidise development leaving the rest of us watching and waiting and hanging on to our bangers for longer than usual.
    In the meantime, I’m firmly in the apocalyptic camp.

    • vensonata

      “Imminent obsolescence”, thank you. This could become as common a phrase as “conspicuous consumption”. We need short phrases for the nightly news etc. to let those busy gas mobilers know about the tsunami that is about to hit the used car market.

  • Jouni Valkonen

    Tesla alone is probably selling about 1.8 million electric cars in 2023. So I guess that two to three million EVs in 2023 is more proper estimate.

  • Matt

    I think that the gating factor maybe be that a small group of EV will reach the tipping point. And demand will ballon, the question becomes. How much of s supply lag will there be.

    • JamesWimberley

      Caution: there are few network effects in evs, other than the availability of chargers, and fashion. EVs are not like cellphones or smartphones where each one sold makes all the others a bit more useful. There came a point when, for a young person, not having a phone meant social exclusion. An ev car is functionally just a replacement for an ICE car. Any tipping point can only come from relative costs. At some point ICE cars will be banned in towns, but only after they have become a small minority.

  • http://www.michaeljberndtson.com/ Michael Berndtson

    What’s going on here:
    “California may waive environmental rules for Tesla battery factory”
    http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-tesla-incentives-20140812-story.html

    Tesla or Musk must realize the only reason he has a car business is there is a genuine concern for environmental protections. Protection of land, water and air quality. Climate change is part of environmental protection. Basically Tesla is asking to bypass baseline environmental studies called environmental impact and environmental assessment. EIS’s and EIA’s aren’t that onerous and pretty commonplace. He/Tesla shouldn’t be putting themselves into this mess. It’s an easy endeavor and an easy negotiation.

    It also give me some pause on how Tesla would manage the supply chain of minerals and metals from mining, milling, manufacturing and waste management. There really wouldn’t be a clean technology industry without baseline environmental impact studies. Meaning, why do anything relating to environmental protection, from water treatment to curbing CO2 emissions.

    Basically, all the work NOAA and other governmental agencies are doing with climate science is environmental impact, assessment and investigation. Activities only paid for by government. Musk is kind of using climate change as a marketing tool. Between this issue with plant siting and firing 400 employees over at spaceX and landing a class action suit, he’s got some serious image problems mounting.

    • Rich

      “Tesla or Musk must realize the only reason he has a car business is there is a genuine concern for environmental protections”
      Past survey results showed that most Tesla buyers bought the car because it’s an awesome car and not because of any environmental considerations.
      I’m just sayin’

      • http://www.michaeljberndtson.com/ Michael Berndtson

        Tesla could not have made cars for those drivers to enjoy had they not been given many things from the State of California and US government. I’m guessing those cars would cost much more and there wouldn’t be a $7,500 environmental tax benefit for the buyers, without a concern for the environment. And a pretty cheap purchase price w/incentives on a plant as well. I’m all for this to succeed. It’s simply not a good move to become all libertarian and regulation disruptor after all this big government support.

        • Jouni Valkonen

          GM and Ford also would have been in deep bankruptcy if US government had not bailed those out with far bigger subsidies that Tesla has ever received.

          Subsidies for promising start-up companies is on integral part of growth politics. The life and success of Tesla was not depended on government subsidies but it was depended on the major investment from Daimler.

          Electric cars are superiour to ICE cars by every aspect. And as established car manufacturers were not interested on investing on EV tech, there was and there still is extremely fertile grounds and growth potential for new EV-start-ups.

          • http://www.michaeljberndtson.com/ Michael Berndtson

            All true. Startups don’t really need as much support as lumbering incumbents. Bailing out GM had more to do with keeping steel, metals and much of the Great Lakes region alive, than it did supporting an incumbent technology. For instance, ArcelorMittal, the huge primary steel plant in East Chicago, Indiana almost shut down in 2008/2009. Like really close. I was working on a special project there at the time. The Stimulus kept it open. Now its running full bore. Mostly due to fracking and oil and gas domestic production. Funny thing, the new GM is separate from the old GM. The old GM is where billions in environmental and pension liability are sitting as a trust.

            The point being, EV is a solution that falls under environmental protection at the moment. There will be a time when EV and renewables work swimmingly and become a free marketers dream. This is not the point in time to be doing environmental work-arounds. Especially when environmental types are supporting EVs. This issue with Musk will get fixed. Environmental workaround is how hydraulic fracturing was deployed so quickly. Now, people who live in areas being fracked are wondering where’s the environmental protection. Tesla in its pursuit of fast tracking or working around is basically setting precedence for nuclear power. Nuke is wanting to do the exact same thing. To compete.

            Presently, the highway bill is wrapped around the axil of congress. Republicans are trying to fast track and work around environmental and labor regulation. There’s also goodies for EV/renewables in that bill. Democrats (the last remaining enviros) are fighting this. This allows quicker eminent domain and plowing up wetlands. And concurrently, allows for governmental contractors to work around labor laws when doing business with the feds. This would be Davis-Bacon. The cost to build won’t go down, saving taxpayers money. It never does. What happens is the environment becomes less protected and more federal dollars go into fed contractor’s executive’s pockets.

    • Bob_Wallace

      The way I read the article you link is that the proposal is to let Tesla start construction prior to completing the environmental review and then to make corrective action, which might be needed, along the way.

      I see nothing about Tesla being allowed to violate environmental regulations, only a plan to speed to to operation by allowing construction and environmental review processes to run simultaneously rather than sequentially.

      • http://www.michaeljberndtson.com/ Michael Berndtson

        That may be what’s being negotiated. One can hope. Fast tracking environmental regulations is what’s being done ever since Bush/Cheney administration. Feds and states have bent over backwards for oil and gas development (hydraulic fracking), refining, mining, infrastructure, nuclear power plants etc. Musk probably shouldn’t be pushing this too far. He’s kind of playing one state off the other. I’m sure Texas is more lenient than California on many if not all environmental regulations. Nevada and Arizona laxity on environmental lies somewhere between CA and TX. Closer to TX. This is not a way to promote environmentalism.

  • JamesWimberley

    Agree with others. Take the BYD electric bus. Total sales to date: under 5,000. World bus market: around 500,000 a year, of which say half urban short-range buses. The BYD bus is clearly superior to ICE competitors on comfort, noise, pollution, and running costs – not marginally but decisively. The range is enough, and more is unimportant. It’s a lot more expensive so the operator’s calculation is finely balanced – for now. But lower the price by a third, and the choice becomes a no-brainer. BYD cleans up. Surely this will happen before 2020?

  • MarTams

    This prediction were concocted by the same type of “experts” at the IEA? Mwahahaha! It would be more than 100 million cars, only if the manufacturers chose to do so!

    • Bob_Wallace

      Manufacturers will build what the public wants to buy.

      Lots of us are betting that battery prices will fall and capacities rise making EVs very attractive to buyers. Thankfully a few companies like Tesla and Nissan are driving the technology to make that happen.

      Right now Tesla is saying that they’ll have a ~200 mile range EV for $35k on the market in about two years (three?). I would not be surprised to see one of the major manufacturers try to steal the march on Tesla by marketing a sub-$30k EV with something like a 150 mile range sooner.

      Give people an EV that’s more affordable and can be driven long distances without having to stop every hour or two for a charge and I think demand will take off and we’ll see most manufacturers start pumping out EVs.

      A 150 mile range EV is not a car most would want to drive cross continent every month, but it would be reasonable for a 250, even 350 mile trip a few times a year. The 150 mile range would cover more than 95% of our driving days.

      • Rich

        Agreed, the 150 to 200 mile range cars at $35k or less will have a substantial impact on sales. Currently, the 80 mile range / 45 mile range in cold weather cars don’t exactly meet the needs of a large market segment. The increased range should have an exponential impact on sales growth … larger segment = larger sales. 1.8 mil by 2023 doesn’t come close to reality. Maybe they’re talking about Tesla only sales. hah

  • Bob_Wallace

    China is putting a hard push on EVs. Tesla is expected by 2017 to market a long range EV for not much more than the average cost of a new car in the US. A couple of car companies are combining forces to produce a $15k EV.

    1.8 million by 2023 seems like a prediction made from someone who isn’t watching what is happening. It’s more like a “put a ruler on the line to date and draw a “nothing will change” plot’.

    There’s so much work going on in the storage industry in an effort to develop better batteries that it puts Navigant in the position of betting against science.

    It reminds me of Giles’s article about how the IEA totally blew it with their predictions of the growth of wind and solar.

    http://cleantechnica.com/2014/08/12/experts-misleading-people-renewable-energy/

    • No way

      And since this prediction is including PHEV’s it will go even faster. Volkswagen is making their most popular models into PHEV’s at reasonable prices and with a will to sell them.
      Normally there are about 2 million vehicles sold globally per year of the VW Passat, VW Golf and Audi A3 combined. The PHEV versions are starting selling now or in a few months (but not in all markets yet though) and if 10-20% of those can be PHEV’s that is 200-400k from just three models.

      We are soon looking at a market where every model will be offered as a PHEV too.

  • Humphrey Liu

    “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.”
    – Niels Bohr

    • Jouni Valkonen

      it is easy if you have a crystal ball. But typically you cannot make reliable predictions of future using information from the past.

  • Vensonata

    The question I have is: will the bottom fall out of the used gas car Market? Will people have zero value used cars and will there suddenly be a huge electric retrofit market for them? It is something like the underwater mortgage catastrophe for houses recently, empty suburbs with “for sale” signs. Detroit might be the ghastly symbol of what will become of the stranded gas mobiles.

    • patb2009

      in 2008, a big SUV was worth zip. when the market collapses,
      it’s suddenly zero.

    • Calamity_Jean

      I imagine there will be some gasoline and diesel cars still in existence, in the same way that there are still some Doble steam cars and Stutz Bearcats and the occasional horseless carriage still in existence. The cars of today will suddenly become rare collector’s items if they haven’t been gutted and turned into electrics.

      • Doug Cutler

        Special license to run gas cars at county fairs.

        • Calamity_Jean

          Yeah, or for parades.

  • http://www.roofpowersolar.com jddroz

    Exponential growth trends in solar, wind, and EV’s won’t suddenly become linear. I’m guessing more like 1.8 mil per year within 4 or 5 years.

  • Philip W

    1.8mio? I´m no analyst, but I´m pretty sure in 9 years there will be much more EVs sold than that (or at least I hope so).
    There will be one turning point when EVs are getting cheaper than normal cars and then suddenly no one will buy the normal ones anymore. Ofcourse it´s more complex than that, but I´m too lazy right now to type it all down. I hope people understand it anyways.

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