By on April 13, 2015


Electric vehicles are doing well in Europe, but their dominance over PHEVs may soon draw to a close.

Automotive News Europe reports sales of EVs in Europe jumped 73 percent to 58,244 units in 2014, while sales of PHEVs climbed 29 percent in the same period to 39,547, according to industry group ACEA. The best-selling EV and PHEV in 2014 were the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (15,134 units vs. 19,855), while the largest markets were Norway for EVs (18,090 units), Netherlands for PHEVs (9,938).

According to IHS Automotive senior analyst Ben Scott, PHEVs will overtake EVs this year or in 2016 as far as production goes, forecasting 1.35 million units by 2020, and 2.7 million by 2025. Meanwhile, EV sales will be under 1 million by 2020, as consumers are likely to choose PHEVs for their flexibility in range and use over electric-only vehicles.

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16 Comments on “IHS: PHEVs To Overtake EVs In Europe Within Two Years...”

  • avatar

    PHEV makes the most sense.

    Electricity for your daily commute.
    Gasoline backup when you need to drive further.

    EV doesn’t make sense for most people and probably won’t until recharging stations are more ubiquitous, or charging sessions occur faster.

    If GM would make a PHEV version of the Malibu – that cost less than $50,000 – it would be a better overall car than the Tesla Model S. Same goes for Ford’s Fusion. Same goes for The Dodge Charger (no pun intended).

    • 0 avatar

      Ford does make a PHEV of the Fusion. It is the Energi model and it starts around $34,000.

      I don’t see Chevy doing the same to the Malibu until they reach a point where they can get the Volt price much lower.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      When it comes down to it, the difference between the Voltec and a PHEV is the size of the battery. The difference between a plain old hybrid and a PHEV is also just the size of the battery.

      • 0 avatar

        Yes and no, look at the Prius it was designed from the get go to be a hybrid and the plug in version is a huge compromise. Accelerate quickly and the ICE will fire up and continue to run until it reaches min operating temp. Drive it too fast and it needs the ICE to turn, which normally means giving it fuel to burn. The current Fusion and Accord Hybrids on the other hand were designed to be plug in Hybrids from the get go and they can stay in EV mode no matter how hard you push on the pedal or if you go a reasonable freeway speed, at least until you depelete the battery. Their “plain Hybrids” are PHEV with a smaller battery.

        • 0 avatar

          I can’t speak for the Honda, but I do drive the PHEV Fusion, and that’s not quite correct. If you use all of the accelerator, the engine will come on. If you are driving around normally, you’ll almost never start the engine unless you run out of battery. I’ve had mine a little over a year,and I think I’ve unintentionally started the engine four times.

          Any round trip of less than about 20 miles,it’s an EV, unless the temperature is below the mid 30’s. For colder temperatures, the engine is an integral part of the heating system and it will come on periodically.

      • 0 avatar

        You’re forgetting about the charging system. PHEVs have a plug and an AC charger, HEVs don’t.

    • 0 avatar

      PHEV’s can be considered as an EV with “Training wheels”. For those who cannot stomach the range limitations of a full BEV, the PHEV is a great alternative.

      It seems odd that analysts would predict an upsurge in PHEV adoption. This is odd both because BEV’s are increasing market share and BEV ranges are set to double for Nissan / GM models in the next few years making their limitations much less of a barrier to adoption

      I think the opposite, BEV’s will retain their sales strength and take off when increased range BEV’s come to market in a few years.

      PHEV’s are suitable for the travelling salesman and service tech who have varied and somewhat unpredictable journey patterns, BEV’s will be suitable for pretty much everyone else.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        What you said. BEV’s utility will not remain the same for the next decade. I also think they have it backward.

        • 0 avatar

          There’s a lot of battery tech on the horizon partially driven by demand from electronic Devices. What was the latest – aluminum ion. ICEVs are going to keep getting more complex. Next up for them will be particulate filters for GDI.

      • 0 avatar

        The PHEV concept fills the gaps in current battery technology nicely. In cold temperatures when battery capacity is diminished and the need for heat increases the load, the engine provides both added range and heat. Granted, a PHEV has to carry a 300 pound engine around all the time, but most EVs carry extra battery capacity they don’t use on a daily basis as well.

        • 0 avatar

          >> Granted, a PHEV has to carry a 300 pound engine around all the time, but most EVs carry extra battery capacity they don’t use on a daily basis as well.

          There’s about a 450 lb difference between the Leaf and the current Volt. Even though I sometimes refer to a PHEVs engine as extra weight I don’t want to carry, I really mean much than just the weight. When you add that engine, you add ICEV maintenance issues as well including oil changes, emissions tests, check engine light hassles, fuel pumps, muffler, catalytic converter, increased transmission complexity etc. Better to leave those hassles to it’s more demanding garage mates.

          What a BEV does carry on a long trip is a time penalty. On my typical 100 mile round trips, I gain some time since I charge at either end while either working or sleeping and avoid the gas station trips required by an ICEV.

          On a trip to Vermont, 100+ miles one way, I’m going to incur a time penalty. It’s manageable if you time it for lunch. Fortunately, I don’t make trips like that often, so it’s not worth the ICE penalties you get with a PHEV.

          It also helps that I’m in a region that’s experiencing an nice influx of level 3 quick chargers. EvGo is moving in with chargers at Simon Malls and ChargePoint will be adding some as well. I now have 5 Level 3 chargers on my 50 mile commute route. I typically don’t need them, but it’s nice to know they’re there. If I lived elsewhere, I might have a different view on PHEVs.

          That being said, the second car in the house may very well become a PHEV – possibly a 2016 Volt, even with shortcomings I don’t like. I think it’s still better than the Prius it would replace. However, if the Model 3 was available, a pair of them would be my choice to replace both Prius and Leaf.

    • 0 avatar

      Didn’t they call it the volt. Don’t know what your criteria is but the Tesla is a very very good car, at least the equal of anything in its price range – electric or not – even if you love oil for some odd reason.

      With most car journeys under 40 miles, most people would be served quite well with a decent EV. what we think we need and what we need are often 2 different things. Apple has made billions parsing that one correctly.

  • avatar

    Whether it’s an EV or PHEV, As Louis B. Mayer once said: include me out. My all-electric bill (no gas for heating/cooking) in San Diego was $52.45 for 287 kWh. At 18.275 cents/kWh, regular gas is cheaper.

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      “At 18.275 cents/kWh, regular gas is cheaper.”

      As a fellow CA resident, I sympathize with the monthly dry anal rape you get in the electric bill (try using 900 KWh/month as I do) , but if you have an EV you can have a separate meter installed for the charger and get your rate down to something like $0.10 / KWh.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Yet ironically, California is EV Central.

      I have very cheap electricity, but EVs are rare here in western PA. I can power my 250 kWh/month Leaf for under $20/month. A 30-mpg gasoline car would cost me another $50/month to operate.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, but your gasoline is expensive too. Considering most EV drivers are getting around 4 miles per kwh and gasoline is running around $3.00 – $3.30 in California, that’s still less per mile than a Prius,and considerably less than what a similar sized conventional auto can be fueled for.

      Here in Georgia, gas is $2.30, but electricity is cheap. If I use evening electricity, I pay about 2.5 cents per mile, and overnight charging is ridiculously cheap, somewhere around 1.5 cents per mile.

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