Sales of plug-in electric vehicles in the North American markets will be roughly 50% higher in 2017 than they were were in 2016, based on current trends, according to a new report from Navigant Research. That should come as no surprise to those of you who follow our monthly electric car sales reports.
The report argues, though, that the rate of growth over the coming years will fall from that figure of 50%, but remain fairly substantial. As it is, the North American plug-in electric vehicle markets have grown by a factor of roughly 10 since 2011 or so, when electric models first started to hit the commercial market (I’m ignoring the existence of the GM EV1 and other previous-generation EVs, for obvious reasons).
The report — Market Data: EV Geographic Forecasts — features this interesting part relating to the expected slow down in growth over the coming years, via Green Car Congress: “Part of this slowdown is simply the increase in the year-over-year denominator; another part is the likely phaseout of government subsidies in the first half of the 2020s. At that point, Navigant Research expects growth to be around the low teens. Once BEVs cross the cost parity threshold with internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs), the market is projected to return to a faster pace of growth that is longer lived. This inflection is likely to occur around 2025, when battery pack prices drop to around $150/kWh. By 2026, Navigant Research expects PEV penetration to be between 7% (in the conservative scenario) and 11% (in the aggressive) of overall LDV sales.”
The report notes that while most growth to date has been centered around California, and in a broader way around heavily urbanized regions, such regional differences will not be so big as battery tech continues improving and prices continue falling.
In particular, growth in the Northeastern US is expected to increase greatly as offerings improve and as various rebate programs launch.
Image by Kyle Field