Electrics to Make Up 7% of Light Vehicle Market by 2020


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With electric car sales now rising and charging station infrastructure for the vehicles now rolling out, it seems that electric vehicles are finally starting to become mainstream. With major car manufacturers now debuting fully-electric plug-in models, the number of electric vehicles on U.S. and European roads is set to rise steadily for years to come.

Market research firm Navigant Research today released data forecasts predicting that nearly 7% of "light duty" vehicles sold worldwide in 2020 will be plug-in or hybrid electrics.

“Electric vehicles, including plug-in models, are becoming an increasingly important part of the global automotive market,” said Dave Hurst, principal research analyst at Navigant. “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.”

Navigant's prediction is based on several factors. First, as mentioned by Hurst, is that consumers are being incentivized to buy electric vehicles through monetary concerns. With gas prices continuing to rise, tax rebates given by government environmental initiatives could entice consumers to make the switch to electric.

Car manufacturers themselves are also beginning to see the monetary incentives in electric vehicles. In addition to tax incentives, electric car batteries (which, according to Navigant, can make up around half the cost of plug-in electric vehicles,) are now falling in price. Navigant predicts that batteries for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in particular will fall 26% by the year 2020.

(Image courtesy Nissan)