Report: Green vehicles could hit 7 percent of market by 2020

Have you been waiting for just the right battery-powered electric vehicle (PEV) to come along? Thinking this form of low carbon transportation might be a passing fad? If these questions or others like them are keeping you from buying an electric vehicle (BEV) or plug-in hybrid (PHEV), you’ll be interested to know demand and available options are projected to increase in coming years as more people express a want for greener cars. That’s a takeaway from a recent report from Navigant Research around projected EV growth between now and 2020.

Researchers from Navigant believe worldwide sales of light duty hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles will reach 6.6 million units annually by the end of the decade, representing almost seven percent of the total light duty vehicle market. This will be helped along by a range of factors, chief of which is manufacturers such as Honda,Volkswagen and Hyundai adding new models in the green car segment that reportedly will spark consumer interest and accelerate sales opportunities.

image via VW

Also driving demand of these cars will be failing prices. The cost of battery packs,

which can account for as much as half of PEV costs, will continue to decrease significantly during the forecast period, according to the report.  Hybrids and PHEVs are anticipated to see a 10 percent and 26 percent decline in battery pack costs by 2020, respectively, while BEVs will likely remain flat, but see improvements in vehicle range and performance during the same period.

“Electric vehicles, including plug-in models, are becoming an increasingly important part of the global automotive market,” said Dave Hurst, principal research analyst with Navigant Research, in a statement.  “This growth is being driven not only by the inherent appeal of the vehicles, but also by consumer demand for vehicles that cost less to operate than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, government incentives, and a rebounding economic climate.”

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling