Europe could become the largest global market for battery-powered electric vehicles by far, predict analysts J. D. Power and Associates. But EV volumes will still be lower than some automakers' expectations.
By 2020, EV sales in Europe could reach 742,020 units, or 3.1 percent of 23.8 million sales predicted for that year, according to a report by California-based J. D. Power.
China would be the second EV largest market with unit sales of 332,775 and a 1.9 percent market share.
The United States would be third in term of unit sales, 107,998 units, amounting to just 0.6 percent of the market.
Japan would have the third largest share at 1.6 percent but, because it is a small market, unit sales would be only 67,057.
Globally, EVs could reach a 1.85 percent market share in 2020 with unit sales of 1.31 million units in a total global market of 70.9 million, J. D. Power said.
J.D. Power's predicted 2020 global market share for EVs is far lower than the 10 percent or 6 million units forecast by Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.
Volkswagen AG expects EVs to represent 3 percent, or 300,000 units of VW Group's planned 10 million sales by 2018.
Globally, VW anticipates the market share for full-electric vehicles to be 2 percent by 2020, very close to J D Power's 1.85 percent prediction.
“Based on our research of consumer attitudes toward battery-powered and electric hybrid vehicles — and barring significant changes to public policy, including tax incentives and higher fuel economy standard — we don't anticipate a mass migration to green vehicles in the coming decade,” John Humphrey, J.D. Power's senior vice president of automotive operations, said in a statement.
He noted that consumers have a variety of concerns about EVs and hybrid electric vehicles, including:
• Dislike of their design and appearance
• Worries about the reliability of new technologies
• Dissatisfaction with overall power and performance
• Anxiety about driving range
• Concern about the time needed to recharge battery packs.
Hybrid vehicles have better potential. J. D. Power predicts electric hybrid and plug-in hybrid models could conquer more buyers than pure EVs, accounting to 5.5 percent of global sales in 2020, or 3.88 million units.
The United States is seen having the highest volume of electric hybrid and plug-in hybrids by 2020 with sales of 1.67 million units, representing a 9.6 percent market share.
Japan, where Honda and Toyota have pioneered hybrid vehicles, would have the highest share at 20.9 percent in 2020, equivalent 874,984 units.
Europe will come second in volume at 977,806 units and third in market share at 4.1 percent.
Hybrids are seen as no goers in China with J.D. Power forecasting a market share of 0.6 percent and 97,234 unit sales by 2020.