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.
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.