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As longtime editor of "Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Progress" and before that "Battery and Electric Vehicle News," this report’s author has a unique perspective on the industry. The global market for electric vehicles has experienced more promise in the last 18 months than in the last 18 years. Multiple major automakers are poised to roll out dozens of HEV models — if highly publicized hybrid safety recalls do not shake the public’s confidence (and if the automakers themselves survive economic hardship and even bankruptcy).
The U.S. government is pouring many billions of dollars of loans, subsidies, and outright grants into the battery-powered electric vehicle market — and at the same time there has been a brutal confrontation between the Congress and the President’s administration over continued fuel cell vehicle funding. Wide adoption of millions of advanced lithium-ion batteries could lead to a global shortage of lithium metal — at the same time there could be severe overcapacity for the batteries and a lithium battery glut.
The Far East could leapfrog conventional automobile options and deploy millions of electric vehicles within a few decades — but the largest deployment of electric vehicles ever was recently thrown into doubt when the People’s Republic of China outlawed most of the wildly popular battery-powered scooters. Advanced batteries can finally deliver the power and recharge time seen as necessary for wide acceptance as an EV power source — if safety issues can be addressed (and if the prices come down).
With these types of opposing trends and developments in play, it is more important than ever to have access to an informed analysis of the industry’s status, scenarios, and, ultimately, realistic assessment of the industry’s fortunes.
The global electric vehicle market in 2009 was worth more than $26 billion, including more than $4.6 billion worth of associated power sources. This market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.5% between 2010 and 2015 under a consensus scenario. This will result in a $78 billion global market in 2015, along with a $7.6 billion power source market.
The plug-in HEVs segment will experience dramatic growth. This market is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 81.6% under a consensus scenario, from a value of $500 million in 2010 to $9.9 billion in 2015.
The hybrid electric vehicles market is worth an estimated $19.3 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach $46.2 billion in 2015, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.1% under a consensus scenario.
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