Sales of full-electric cars are set to surge to 200,000 this year, helped by the arrival of the new Nissan Leaf and the start of a wave of premium European EVs designed to challenge Tesla's dominance.
Demand for battery-powered vehicles is forecast to reach 600,000 by 2020 and rise to nearly a million by 2022, LMC Automotive predicts. This is a big change from last year when LMC says EVs surpassed the 100,000-sales barrier in Europe for the first time (EV sales were on track to reach 126,500 based on 10-month volume plus estimates for November and December, according to LMC).
Along with the second-generation Nissan Leaf, this year will see sales start for the Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV and the possible launch of the Porsche Mission E sedan. The production version of the Audi e-tron electric SUV is expected to be shown this year, but LMC doesn't believe the car will start reaching customers until 2019, citing information from Audi's parent Volkswagen Group.
The three premium models will bring additional attention to the electric market, but they won't make a huge impact in terms of sales, LMC director of powertrain Al Bedwell said. "They will be expensive and charging infrastructure is still an issue in almost all European markets," he said. Jaguar will reveal the production I-Pace in March along with pricing. Media reports suggest it will start at 60,000 pounds in its home market.