To paraphrase the old Elvis Presley tagline, more than 800,000 Europeans can't be wrong. That's the conclusion of Pike Research, which estimates that sales of electric vehicles in Europe will jump more than fivefold between now and the end of the decade.

Specifically, EVs will account for about four percent of the European new-car market in 2020, up from 0.7 percent last year. That means that about 827,000 EVs will be sold throughout the continent in 2020. Pike acknowledges there are conflicting factors that need to be taken into account when estimating EV growth. While Europe's higher fuel prices will help push EV sales, the broader prevalence of fuel-efficient diesel vehicles may hamper automakers' effort to get potential customers to consider EVs.

Earlier this month, French electric and hybrid vehicle association AVERE-France said that more than 5,6000 EVs were sold in France last year, doubling its 2011 total and accounting for about one in every 6,200 of the country's vehicles. By comparison, about one in 20,000 US vehicles was a new EV last year. Check out Pike Research's press release below.
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Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Sales in Europe to Reach 827,000 Annually by 2020, Forecasts Pike Research

BOULDER, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Although government support for Electric Vehicles (EVs) in Europe is waning, the increasing availability of vehicle charging infrastructure that enables vehicles to charge at home, at the workplace, and in public places is facilitating market growth. With electric and electrically assisted vehicles now available in the mainstream market, the fundamental question is no longer if there is a market; rather, the question is how fast that market will grow. According to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice, EVs – including electrically assisted hybrids – will play an increasingly important role in European markets, growing from 0.7 percent of the market in 2012 to four percent in 2020. While that is still a small portion of the market, it represents more than 827,000 vehicles sold annually in the region.

"The European transportation market is significantly different from other world regions," says senior research analyst David Alexander. "Thanks to fuel prices that are significantly higher than in North America, small, efficient gasoline- and diesel-engine cars have led European sales figures for many years. Today, the market is still testing electric drive technology, waiting for the price premium for EVs compared to conventional vehicles to narrow, and in some cases waiting for electric charging infrastructure to become established."

Another difference between the European and North American automotive markets is the prevalence of diesel vehicles in Europe. The popularity of diesel has prevented hybrids from achieving the success in Europe that they have had in North America, where the contrast with large V8 vehicles is important to consumers. The biggest growth through 2020 is expected to come in battery electric vehicles, followed by plug-in hybrids, according to the report, while hybrid electric vehicle sales will lag behind in most European countries.

The report, "Electric Vehicles in Europe", examines key market trends and drivers for the purchase of light duty electric drive vehicles in Europe. The study includes an analysis of business models and demand factors, technology and standards issues, and government policies within the region. Profiles of 23 key automakers in the sector are included, and detailed market forecasts for vehicle sales and registrations are provided for 21 European countries, segmented by powertrain, through 2020. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.

About Pike Research

Pike Research, which joined Navigant's global Energy Practice on July 1, 2012, provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The team's research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Utilities, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. Additional information about Pike Research can be found at www.navigant.com/pikeresearch.

About Navigant

Navigant (NYSE: NCI) is a specialized, global expert services firm dedicated to assisting clients in creating and protecting value in the face of critical business risks and opportunities. Through senior level engagement with clients, Navigant professionals combine technical expertise in Disputes and Investigations, Economics, Financial Advisory and Management Consulting, with business pragmatism in the highly regulated Construction, Energy, Financial Services and Healthcare industries to support clients in addressing their most critical business needs. More information about Navigant can be found at www.navigant.com.


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