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Industry News
EVs: Will the public buy?

Global sales of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) is expected to total 5.2 million units — a mere 7.3 percent — of the 70.9 million passenger vehicles that will be sold worldwide in the next decade, according to Drive Green 2020: More Hope than Reality, a report from J.D. Power and Associates.

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Posted on: 11/30/2010
Source: Composites Technology

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Global sales of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) is expected to total 5.2 million units — a mere 7.3 percent — of the 70.9 million passenger vehicles that will be sold worldwide in the next decade, according to Drive Green 2020: More Hope than Reality, a report from J.D. Power and Associates (Westlake Village, Calif.). By comparison, J.D. Power projects that global HEV/BEV sales in 2010 will be 954,500 vehicles, or 2.2 percent of the projected 44.7 million sold through this year.
The report considers factors that will affect the potential of green vehicles, many of which will be lightweighted with composites. It will be difficult, the report says, to convince large numbers of consumers to switch to HEVs and BEVs. Significant consumer migration likely will be stimulated by a significant increase in the global price of petroleum-based fuels by 2020; a substantial breakthrough in green technologies that would reduce vehicle costs and improve consumer confidence; and government policy that encourages consumers to purchase EVs. J.D. Power insists that, based on currently information, none of these scenarios is likely during the next 10 years.

Another study, by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (Washington, D.C.), is more upbeat. It claims that Nissan’s Leaf battery-electric model and the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid could comprise 9 percent of annual auto sales in 2020 and 22 percent in 2030 (1.6 million and 4 million units, respectively). That will depend on two key factors: aggressive reductions in battery costs and rising gasoline prices, the company says. In the short term, the sticker price and access to appropriate charging locations will be the most significant limitation to acceptance of HEVs and BEVs.

On that subject, Eldib Engineering & Research Inc.’s (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) new study discusses electric vehicle charging stations. It estimates that 5 million charging stations will be in use by 2015. Station cost (from $1,500 to $35,000, depending on charger power) will be defrayed, in part, by the U.S. government. Eldib says the top provider is Roth Capital Partners (Newport Beach, Calif.) closely followed by Coulomb Technologies (Campbell, Calif.). For more information, contact Dr. Andrew Eldib: eldib@eldib.com. Read more about electric vehicles in CT April 2010 (p. 28), link at right.

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