New York City, November 2, 2010 — Plug-in electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles, have the potential to make up 9 percent of auto sales in 2020 and 22 percent in 2030 (1.6 million and 4 million vehicle sales respectively), according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Achieving such growth levels, however, will be dependent on two key factors — aggressive reductions in battery costs and rising gasoline prices.
The median base price of autos sold between July 2009 and June 2010 in the US was $21,800. By comparison, the Nissan Leaf will cost $26,280 after federal subsidies (including an allowance for charger installation), which is a higher price point than three quarters of all new auto sales.
The forecast is based on first identifying the “addressable market” for plug-in vehicles — those consumer segments which can afford the vehicle, have suitable range requirements and have access to an appropriate location for charging. The second step models the proportion of consumers within the addressable market that might actually purchase such a vehicle.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that in 2011, the GM Volt will be targeting an addressable market of 7 percent of total US auto sales, and the Nissan Leaf 11 percent. However, actual sales will be much lower and limited by vehicle availability.
The model also forecasts sensitivity to gas prices, which will have a considerable effect on uptake. Rises in electricity prices do not affect sales as severely, Bloomberg New Energy Finance concludes, as fuel costs are a lower proportion of the total cost of ownership for electric vehicles.