Bob Lutz is keeping up his vocal support for the coming age of the electric vehicle. Speaking to students at the University of Michigan College of Engineering's Center for Entrepreneurship, he said something that most AutoblogGreen readers are likely to agree with (unlike his comment that global warming is a crock): it will be "gradual,: but the electrification of the automobile is inevitable.
It's true that crystal balls that accurately forecast the future of plug-in vehicles don't exist, but for $2,800 you can buy a copy of a report that concludes with this bit of info: worldwide cumulative plug-in vehicle sales will reach 5.2 million units by 2017.
Boston Consulting Group (BCG), in its upcoming report titled "Powering Autos to 2020," has toned down its estimated plug-in vehicle penetration in response to significant improvements to the internal combustion engine.
Forecasting the future of the plug-in vehicle segment is not an exact science, but countless firms, including Pike Research, strive to provide accurate predictions. Recently, Pike constructed a model for plug-in vehicles sales broken down by individual states and metropolitan statistical areas.
The UK's automotive industry could see a £7 billion (11.3 billion U.S. at the current exchange rate) increase thanks to plug-in vehicles by 2014, according to a survey conducted by GfK Automotive. Recently, GfK polled more than 5,000 drivers in the UK and discovered that there's a considerable amount of interest in plug-in rides among the country's car-buying public.
So, how are the first two plug-in mainstream vehicles in the U.S. selling? Both the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf had their first deliveries in December, which means that January 2011 was the first full month of sales for each. The numbers are:
During last week's State of the Union address, President Obama reiterated his ambitious goal that calls for one million plug-in hybrids and electrics on the road by 2015. However, IHS Automotive analyst Rebecca Lindland thinks that hitting the one-million mark will require extensive fleet sales.
Recently, General Motors chief executive officer Dan Akerson held a private meeting with the automaker's team of execs. At this conference, Akerson reportedly revealed his target for plug-in vehicle sales. According to three sources – who asked to remain anonymous – Akerson expects GM to sell 45,000 electric-drive vehicles in 2012. That's a target that the automaker is confident that it will reach. However, GM's CEO envisions tremendous growth in the company's plug-in sales by mid-de