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August Electric Vehicle

Pike Research Forecasts 1 Plug-in Electric Cars by


By Brad Berman · 23, 2011

The first deliveries of the Volt in December 2010 met with great excitement. But will remain extremely throughout 2011.

Nobody has a ball clear enough to see how big the car market will be five from now. But Pike the Colorado-based clean tech firm, has as much of a grasp on the EV as anybody. I’ve come to see the forecasts as fair and reasonablebased on currently available knowledge, than personal or political either for or against electric In its latest forecast for electrified released this week, Dave Hurst says the United States will short of President Obama’s publicized goal of having 1 plug-in vehicles on American by 2015.

But just by one year.

Pike the number for cumulative sales of electric vehicles will be by 2015. But the good news is the annual market in 2016 be 289,000, and will reach by 2017. “Technically, our forecast the U.S. will reach 1 by 2017, but actually, we’ll close to hitting it by the end of 2016,” Hurst, the author of the report.

Outstrips Supply

When I spoke with yesterday, he seemed disappointed EV sales haven’t ramped up “It’s a supply-side issue, not side,” he said. “We’ve so many delays in vehicle referring to delayed introductions Ford, Mitsubishi, Coda and As a result, Pike believes the number of electric vehicle and hybrids sold in 2011 be just 20,500. Through the tally was below 8,000

“The hard thing for me is, if I it down by model, for the first of 2012, there are only two out there,” he said, referring the LEAF and Chevy Volt. models, such as the Fisker and Ford Focus Electric have arrived, but production be low. “How are you gong to get big with just two models?” And the of one of those models, the Chevy “looks like it’s at this point,” said “Getting deliveries out to customers has a lot slower than originally In July, General Motors only 125 Volts. down 561 sales in June.

On the other hand, Hurst that the market will “wide open” in 2013, new players including Volkswagen, BMW and start selling plug-in “Toyota is the sleeping giant Hurst said, adding “Honda, based on the reputation for and strong environmental record, also make a decent on the market by 2013.”

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Not Quite 1

Still, even by 2017, Research’s report, “Electric Market Forecasts ,” for pure electric cars to a mere 0.8% of the U.S. while plug-in hybrids account for 1.2%. (At that gas-powered hybrids will up 3.1%, according to Pike.)

me, the 0.8% figure for battery doesn’t seem far-fetched,” Hurst. He cited continued shortages through 2015, and the price of many models. like the $57,000-plus Tesla S, he said, will be priced for a niche group of customers who can for a bank loan for such an vehicle.

He believes that of plug-in hybrids, with batteries and therefore lower will outpace pure cars. “The big reason plug-in hybrids will be sellers than battery vehicle is because of Toyota,” Hurst. “If the Prius Hybrid can meet expectations in of the Prius’s brand promise and that could convert a lot of drivers to a plug-in.” There are than 1 million owners of the Prius in the United States. said the price of the plug-in goes on sale next not yet officially announced, but could dip $30,000.

Some EV advocates might be to see the plug-in market at 2% of overall sales six years from But the rate of growth represents a ramp-up than conventional experienced. Ten years after the market, regular hybrids only represent about 2% of sales.

Electric cars and plug-in would reach that in seven years, and climb up there.

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