Report: Hybrids, Plug-In Hybrids And Electric Car Sales To Reach 32.1 Million in 2025

Posted by Stephen On Friday, August 5th, 2011

Japanese research company Fuji Keizai Group reports the results of their market survey that EV, hybrid (regular and plug-in hybrid) cars as well as fuel cell vehicles will have combined worldwide sales of 32.1 million units in 2025.

This figure is 36 times higher than the figures for 2010. Now, given the relative immaturity particularly of the pure EV and fuel cell vehicle market, it seems to me that this conclusion may well fall foul of my elementary school math teacher’s injunction to never extrapolate too far beyond data points. So this could well be little more than pure speculation, given that we have no idea what may happen in terms of technological, economic, fiscal or political developments in the interim.

After all, this report was almost certainly finalized for print before the recent CAFE target figures for fuel economy were announced, and yet this kind of regulatory intervention could well skew the market to prefer particular technical solutions, for example.

The shorter-term figures are probably of more immediate interest, with sales of these kinds of vehicles expected to reach 5.46 million in 2015 – a 6-fold increase as compared with the sales of about 900,000 in 2010.

Although the longer-term 2025 numbers are more speculative, how Fuji Keizai sees the market for these vehicles breaking down is instructive: Their prediction is that in 2025 there will be 13.86 million standard hybrids, 11.48 million plug-in hybrids, and 5.75 million pure electric vehicle passenger cars sold worldwide. In other words, they are looking at about 45% market share for regular hybrids, 37% for plug-in hybrids and 18% for EVs.

Not only will these new technologies change the kinds of vehicles we will be driving 14 years down the road, but they are also opening up a hitherto non-existent demand for infrastructure.

How accurate the final figures are remains to be seen, but it is fair to say that Fuji Keizai is predicting an explosion of spending in this area: The infrastructure spending related to these vehicles is expected to baloon 10 times from its 2010 figure to 290.1 billion Yen (3.7 billion USD at current exchange rates) in 2025.

It is still too early to tell just how these markets will develop, but the take-home from this Fuji Keizai report is that hybrids, EVs and the like are going to be playing a big role in our mobility and economy in the not-so-distant future.

Sources: Response, Fuji Keizai press release (Japanese-language)

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