Global Sales of Plug-in Electric Vehicles to Hit 3.2 Million By 2015

China will represent 27% of worldwide sales

Automakers are on the verge of mass-marketing plug-in electric vehicles worldwide, including both plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) as well as battery electric vehicles (BEVs), according to Pike Research.

These vehicles offer improved fuel economy, lower emissions, and a quieter ride than comparable traditionally power internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, with several key variations in driving range capabilities. According to a new report from Pike Research, worldwide adoption of PHEVs and BEVs will grow quickly over the next five years, with sales totaling 3.2 million vehicles between 2010 and 2015 and a compound annual growth rate of 106%.

"PHEVs and BEVs will complement, rather than displacing, the market for conventional hybrid electric vehicles," says senior analyst Dave Hurst. " Electric vehicles will follow the lead of hybrids and will be launched in the small car segment for consumer markets initially, with the small SUV segment close behind. Because of their low weight and good aerodynamics, smaller vehicles are far more efficient to better extend the electrically powered driving range, and the smaller vehicle segments also allow the use of a smaller, less expensive battery."

Hurst adds that China will be the largest market for electric vehicles, with more than 888,000 PHEVs and BEVs sold by 2015, representing 27% of worldwide sales.

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