The Electrification Coalition (EC), a trade association of companies involved in the business of electric vehicle,s released a report last week prepared by PriceWaterhouseCoopers touting strong sales of plug in electric vehicles for the first 2 1/2 years that they’be been on the market in the U.S.. Reportedly consumers are embracing PEVs much faster than they started buying hybrids when those first went on sale more than a decade ago. The report particularly noted the success of the Tesla Model S, saying that single model had an 8.4% share of the entire U.S. luxury market for the first six months of 2013.
Key findings of the PriceWaterhouseCoopers report were:
- More than 110,000 PEVs have been sold in the U.S. since January of 2011.
- Twice as many PEVs were sold in that 20 month period than the hybrids sold in a corresponding period after their first introduction.
- Uptake rate of PEVs is 3X what it was for hybrids during their first three years on the market.
- The Nissan Leaf has 3.3% of the subcompact market segment.
- PEVs have a higher customer satisfaction rate on nearly all measured items.
- Battery costs are expected to drop by 50% by 2020, with an expected price of $300-325 per kilowatt hour.
- The Tesla Model S took 8.4% of the U.S. luxury car market for the first half of 2013 and sold more units than “several in-class competitors including the Audi A8, BMW 7-series, and Mercedes S class”
Those last two bullet points are somewhat in contention. Last month, Bill Alpert of Barron’s wrote, “Industries and governments around the world have spent billions on battery research, but few expect to trim electric-car battery costs by more than 20%-30% by the planned 2016 launch of Tesla’s car for the Everyman.” Tesla is planning on selling a $30,000 EV for the mass market. As for the Model S, it’s been pointed out that while it can cost as much as a flagship German luxury sedan, it more directly competes with the segment just below the flagships (depending on your point of view, this could mean anything from a BMW 5-Series to a Mercedes-Benz CLS to an Audi A7).