If ABI Research is correct, our monthly math fest that is the green car sales report will soon take longer to add up. That's because ABI's recent report says that almost 2.4 million battery-electric vehicles will be sold worldwide in 2020, estimating that EV sales (excluding plug-in hybrids and extended-range plug-ins) will jump 48 percent a year through the end of the decade. That means that the estimated 150,000 EVs expected to be sold globally this year will increase to 2.36 million in 2020, with Asia Pacific representing the fastest regional growth rate.

While EV sales have been what ABI calls "disappointing" so far, governmental support in the form of subsidies, infrastructure funding and concessions such as free parking, solo driving in high-occupancy vehicle lanes and congestion-zone toll exemptions will start boosting EV adoption during the next few years. The broader adoption of wireless charging and smart-grid usage will also move things along for the battery-electric driving set.

While automakers continue to add EV models, just two – the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model S – are sold in the US with any sort of substantial numbers. Through the first nine months of the year, Nissan tripled year-earlier sales to 16,076 units. And while Tesla doesn't report monthly sales, the Model S moved about 9,900 units during the first half of the year. The company is expected to release third-quarter results early next month. Check out ABI's press release below.
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Full Electric Vehicle Shipments to Exceed 2 Million by 2020

London, United Kingdom - 08 Oct 2013

According to ABI Research, the number of full electric vehicles (EV) shipping yearly will increase from 150,000 in 2013 to 2.36 million in 2020, representing a CAGR of 48%. Asia-Pacific will exhibit the strongest growth, driven by mounting pollution issues in its many megacities; however, true mass-market uptake will only start happening in the next decade.

"Overall, EV sales have been disappointing so far due to a lack of choice and perceived personal benefits, high purchase prices, and most importantly, consumer anxiety about range, maximum speed, recharging times, and the lack of public charging infrastructure. However, with many car OEMs recently dropping prices and offering more choice and improved performance, full electric vehicles are on the verge of leaving their eco niche of environmentally aware and socially responsible buyers, illustrated by car OEMs such as BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen investing heavily in electrification. Importantly, a range of emerging automotive technologies such as carbon-fiber materials, wireless in-car networking technologies, active safety including pedestrian detection and autonomous driving, connectivity, car sharing, and smart grid demand response features will support the electric automotive revolution as all new paradigms are mutually reinforcing each other," comments VP and practice director, Dominique Bonte.

However, the role of governments in supporting the case of EVs through tax rebates and subsidies, stimulating the roll out of public charging infrastructure, exempting EVs from toll in congestion zones, allowing EVs on High Occupancy lanes, providing free parking, and mandating very aggressive emission standards will remain critical during the remainder of this decade.

Ultimately the connected, autonomous EV will form an intrinsic part of the IoT with vehicles relying on and contributing to the emergence of intelligent road infrastructure including wireless charging, smart grids, digital homes and remote healthcare while realizing the promise of safe, convenient, efficient, affordable and sustainable transportation.

ABI Research's new "Full Electric Vehicles" study covers electrification market trends and drivers, EV technologies including crowd and cloud charging, main players and EVs on the market, and forecast for shipments, EV vehicle base, revenues and public charging infrastructure. It also describes the role of EVs in the future IoT. The study is part of the Intelligent Transportation Systems Research Service.

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research's worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      Dave
      • 19 Hours Ago
      Worldwide car sales are about 80 million per year. Probably 90 million by 2020. So 2.4 million / 90 million ~ 2.7%.
      Zapbrannigan
      • 19 Hours Ago
      Would like to see if the number of EVs on the road is having any meaningful impact on the sales of gasoline yet. Will be interesting to see what happens to the price and production of gas as fuel sales start their terminal downward decline.
        Spec
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Zapbrannigan
        I doubt you'll ever see a drop in gas prices due to EVs unless there is some miracle battery breakthrough. The cost of oil production is high and growing higher. So instead of dropping prices, they'll just produce less oil.
      Joeviocoe
      • 19 Hours Ago
      With the range of predictions we've had over the last decade of EV adoption... this is just another reading of Tea Leaves. Crystal Ball gazing. Phrenology... etc. Now, I don't remember what ABI predicted 5 or 10 years ago about what EV sales might be like in 2013... I am sure they were way wrong. Now they get to say they are, "disappointing"?? Who the F*&* are they?
      Thereminator
      • 19 Hours Ago
      I'm hoping that conversion kits become more popular as battery prices drop. If you could retrofit a battery-pack where the gas tank normally goes(when the energy density/efficiency becomes better on battery's),maybe in the engine compartment along with the controller and motor.I would love to convert my Jeep.
        jeff
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Thereminator
        It is not that hard to convert a car.... I fully restored my car and converted it in less than a year. 80% was restoration and about 20% was the conversion. I have had more fun with this little car that any other car I have ever owned including Mustangs and Corvettes... A jeep would make a great conversion... You can see mine at www.EVThing.me....
      • 19 Hours Ago
      I got extremely lucky two years ago when I was hired as a Nissan salsa consultant. By the time the Leaf blew up in Atlanta, my dealership was ready to meet the demand. On a good month we sell 40 Altima's, but with the Leaf it's 80. Crazy to think my volume vehicle is a leaf. The deal is so good, all I have to do is smile and show up for work. 60 to 80 units per month since February. At first it was just Indians with great credit fresh off the boat with a kick ass job. Now it's everyone! Long live the EV! Finger to all the haters. Keep your loud smelly combustion engine. If I'm going out of town, buy a plane ticket!
        bluepongo1
        • 19 Hours Ago
        So, if you're in the Atlanta area: come on down and see Big Steve the salsa consultant smile at you and put weaksauce salsa on his NADA/Nissan spam with a side of " *Southern Hospitality". * ( just Indians...fresh off the boat....+ Finger to all the haters = Finger yourself. ) Folks on the internet reading this can do their own research and don't need a salsa consultant. :-P
      danfred311
      • 19 Hours Ago
      Unfortunately probably true. By then it will be 1-2million sold per year or about 10% in USA. Still a long way off the goal. I have a small hope that it will go faster but I see nothing but lack of intelligence in my fellow man. Without exception. Trivially obvious things like low weight and aerodynamics escapes everyone. As if they go out of their way to overlook the obvious and continually do stupid things. And it doesn't matter how many years I keep repeating it, it just doesn't sink into your dense minds. We know best.. thinking is overrated.
        Spec
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @danfred311
        Unfortunately? 48% growth per year is amazingly fast growth. I kinda doubt they grow at that pace. It is possible but it will require changes such as cheaper batteries and/or higher oil prices.
          danfred311
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Spec
          LGchem battery prices are already below 200$/kWh. 4000$ worth and a 150$ motor in place of all the ICE junk is quite workable. Even lower prices would of course be good but they are low enough to take over the world already. That's not the problem. The problem is the idiot car makers. Keep in mind that in Norway EV sales are already around 6%, so when prices become just a tiny bit more reasonable that country could snap over in a couple of years and be the trigger for the world.
          Spec
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Spec
          Norway is wealthy and has MASSIVE incentives for EVs. I think everyone should adopt such rules but comparing Norway's EV sales to others is not a fair comparison.