By on June 18, 2010

Whither the electrified market? According to this slide from a recent Johnson Controls analyst presentation [full PDF here], 2m global units by 2015 seems to be one of the models the industry is working on. And compared to other 2015 estimates, like Pike Research’s 3.1m worldwide number, it’s a fairly conservative approach. Still, there’s a long road ahead for plug-in and even hybrid vehicles. Toyota’s Prius, by far the best selling hybrid nameplate in America, sold about 152k units in the last 12 months. All hybrid nameplates sold 27,800 units last month [per Edmunds], for an annualized rate (non-SAAR) of about 333,600 or about half of the estimated 2015 market. Why that’s a problem, after the jump…

Hybrids don’t start making sense at their current prices until gas reaches $4/gal, and electrics are even farther from economic viability. Short of a gas price spike or the passage of a gas tax, it’s hard to see demand doubling for hybrid technology’s marginal economic advantages. And let’s not even start with plug-ins. Meanwhile, despite offering cost savings even at $3/gallon gasoline, stop-start technology doesn’t appear to be in any rush to arrive stateside. By 2015, JCI’s estimates show European stop-start penetration at nearly $14m, while the rest of the world will barely be hitting 2m stop-start-equipped sales. That’s fairly counter-intuitive, given the ramp-up in CAFE and GHG emissions standards in the US, which by 2015 will be about to hit full stride. Of course, when the EPA testing system doesn’t show any of stop-start’s benefits, common sense isn’t going to be enough.

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5 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: The Electric Future...”

  • avatar

    Ironically, the targeting of EVs for city commuters also greatly extends their payback period, since most city commuters don’t drive 20k miles a year. Those who do probably couldn’t make it home on the same battery charge.

  • avatar

    The chicken/egg factor that will prompt potential EV car buyers to feel comfortable about acquiring an EV depends on how many charging stations they see as they drive around in their current day gas-only vehicles.

  • avatar

    Ed, you seem to be using some numbers that apply to the world market and others that apply to the US market, without distinguishing between the two. Can you clear that up?

    • 0 avatar

      Given the numbers in the first slide, North America will have to buy 780k hybrid, plugin or EVs. Assuming even distribution of these three vehicle types in world markets (by no means a sure thing), 88 percent of those will be hybrids meaning North America will buy 686,400 hybrid vehicles. The problem is that North America buys the vast majority of the world’s hybrid production, and isn’t looking likely to stop any time soon.
      Name another market that shows good growth potential for hybrids, and I’ll cede the point. China? Nope. Europe? Again, no. Japan has seen hybrid market share go up, but it’s a small, contracting market. The US is where it’s at hybrid-wise, and with EVs coming onto the market, early adopters and efficiency freaks have new lust objects. US-market Gas prices need to go way up to meet the numbers needed for the 2m hybrid/plugin goal given.

  • avatar

    Unless you see mass adoption of car-sharing programs, city-based EVs will not make much financial sense down the road.

    The only way to truly get the ball off the ground is to make certain business districts carless and offer EV rental and car-sharing programs so people who don’t want to walk or bike (or can’t) can get around.

    The US is where it’s at because every other market has been incentivizing economical ICEs for decades with high gasoline taxes. The wallet is the easiest lever to use in modifying people’s buying habits. As for China and India… cheap and (very) economical cars are the only ones within the purchasing ability of the middle class… until they reach US levels of prosperity, that’s not going to change much.

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