New Study Predicts Big Market for Electric Cars

Global Insight analysts peering into their crystal balls see an 8.6 percent market share for plug-in hybrids and a 9.9 percent share for electrics within two decades.

Published: 23-Jan-2010

Another day, another study of the potential market for cars with cords. This one is from IHS Global Insight, which says plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles will comprise nearly 20 percent of the global market by 2030.

There’s no doubt the cars will be here. Most of the major automakers are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the development of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, and at least two of them — the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf — could be on the road in some areas by year’s end. The question is how well these cars will sell. The Global Insight analysts peering into their crystal balls see an 8.6 percent market share for plug-in hybrids and a 9.9 percent share for electrics within two decades.

“The advantages of electric vehicles are numerous — the multiplicity of energy sources, reduced emissions, reduced noise, the possibility of reduced operating costs — but so too are the challenges,” said Philip Gott, director of the team that compiled the report, “Battery Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles: The Definitive Assessment of the Business Case.”

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The range limitations of most early electric cars will matter less in tightly packed urban areas, where the daily driving distance is likely to be much shorter than in the suburbs or rural areas.

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