A new British study by Glass's Information Services Ltd. (GIS) is predicting that battery electric vehicles will overtake hybrids in UK market share and will reach a combined total of 21 percent by the end of the decade. That market share matches the expectations for France and Italy, but falls short of Germany's potential – which is expected to hit 26 percent.
Until the last two years, European automakers have mostly been skeptical of electric vehicles because of the technological limitations of batteries. However, increasingly tough limits on carbon dioxide emissions mean that almost every manufacturer will have to incorporate some degree of plug-in vehicles into its lineup to average out their dirtier vehicles.
Making ten-year projections is a risky business, though, especially considering all the unknowns in the battery world. Right now, no one really knows what the residual value of the vehicles and batteries will be and no one is certain how advanced automotive batteries will be used at end of their motoring life. While there is interest in reusing batteries for stationary applications at utilities, the vast array of different battery types and formats may make that impractical. GIS is recommending that automakers consider a variety of means to shift the financial risk of batteries away customers if they want electric vehicle to gain widespread adoption they certainly see is possible.