Americans' purchases of plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles are set to spike, Navigant says.
Fans of the iconic 1980 comedy flick Airplane! may smirk at the image of a blow-up "autopilot" materializing on the controls of the not-quite-doomed aircraft. Those folks (c'mon, we know you're out there) may now imagine a similar site behind the wheel of a long-haul 18-wheeler. Think of it at Zucker Bros. meets B.J. and the Bear. Or something like that.
Even as electric vehicles gain in popularity, we're told again and again that internal combustion engines aren't going away. While that may be true, it would still be nice to kick our addiction to gasoline. Pollution, international turmoil and energy insecurity are getting a bit tiresome. It's good news, then that Navigant Research is predicting a decline in the amount of gasoline we use.
When it comes to two-wheeled electric-vehicle sales, North America and Europe giveth while China taketh away. According to new numbers from Navigant Research, global annual e-scooter sales will increase 12 percent to 4.6 million in 2023, while global annual e-motorcycle sales will rise 17 percent to 1.4 million. Put them together and annual two-wheeled electric vehicle sales will increase 13 percent during the next decade to 6 million.
Every single plug-in vehicle sold today represents about 15 by the end of the decade. That's essentially the calculation that Navigant Research (formerly Pike Research) has made, using all the prediction tools at its disposal. In short, Navigant says global annual plug-in vehicles will reach 3 million units by 2020 and will account for about three percent of all light-duty vehicle sales at that time.
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