The global electric vehicle market in 2009 was worth more than $26 billion, including more than $4.6 billion worth of associated power sources. This market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.5% between 2010 and 2015 under a consensus scenario. This will result in a $78 billion global market in 2015, along with a $7.6 billion power source market.
The plug-in HEVs segment will experience dramatic growth. This market is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 81.6% under a consensus scenario, from a value of $500 million in 2010 to $9.9 billion in 2015.
The hybrid electric vehicles market is worth an estimated $19.3 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach $46.2 billion in 2015, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.1% under a consensus scenario.
STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Electric vehicles have been a commercial reality for more than 100 years. This report author’s grandfather owned a thriving business that provided Exide lead–acid battery packs to 1920s EV users. Shortly thereafter, inexpensive gasoline and an ever–increasing desire for performance ended widespread EV use. Oil shortages and an increased concern for the environment began to revive the industry in the 1970s, but wide adoption of various types of EVs always seemed just beyond the horizon––as soon as gasoline cost more than $1 a gallon, or $2, or $4; or as soon as batteries improved to the point at which they could power a car for 40 miles; or as soon as batteries could be recharged in less than 6 hours.
All these technological and market forces were resolved or exceeded, and during the first 5 years of the 21st century, the EV market began a slow, steady period of growth. The second 5 years saw widespread use of HEVs, the commercial production of pure battery–powered EVs in many niche markets, wide adoption of battery–powered scooters, and commercial–scale demonstrations of fuel cell vehicles.
Soon it was determined that HEVs could be turned into “plug–ins” that could be recharged by both the vehicle’s internal combustion engine as well as a battery charger plugged into utility electric power. Of course, the original approach to the plug–in was a “pure” EV that had no internal combustion engine at all, just a motor and battery bank. But this new approach resulted in an entirely new class of vehicle –– the “plug–in hybrid electric vehicle” or PHEV that had many of the advantages of both battery power and internal combustion power.
In addition to pure EV automobiles, there are also growing niche markets for trucks, buses, smaller electric scooters or “Segway”–type vehicles. A whole new market for “low velocity” or “neighborhood electric vehicles” has developed, which includes General Motors’ (GM) Electric Networked–Vehicle (EN–V).
HEVs, PHEVs, and pure EVs can all be powered by electrochemical batteries and fuel cells, as well as potentially by capacitors and flywheels. Plug–in EVs can “charge up,” using electrical power generated during nighttime off–peak periods. In the early 1990s, this approach (known as “peak shifting” or “load leveling”) was seen as the optimal solution to electric utilities’ load–leveling dilemma. Since then, automakers have been reluctant to manufacture and market nonhybrid EVs. By the late 1990s, partially because of the introduction of advanced chargers, consumers began to switch to “quick–charge” approaches. Starting in California, and now throughout the U.S., Japan, and Europe, networks of conveniently located charging stations have been implemented.
REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY
As longtime editor of “Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Progress” and before that “Battery and Electric Vehicle News,” this report’s author has a unique perspective on the industry. The global market for electric vehicles has experienced more promise in the last 18 months than in the last 18 years. Multiple major automakers are poised to roll out dozens of HEV models –– if highly publicized hybrid safety recalls do not shake the public’s confidence (and if the automakers themselves survive economic hardship and even bankruptcy). The U.S. government is pouring many billions of dollars of loans, subsidies, and outright grants into the battery–powered electric vehicle market –– and at the same time there has been a brutal confrontation between the Congress and the President’s administration over continued fuel cell vehicle funding. Wide adoption of millions of advanced lithium–ion batteries could lead to a global shortage of lithium metal –– at the same time there could be severe overcapacity for the batteries and a lithium battery glut. The Far East could leapfrog conventional automobile options and deploy millions of electric vehicles within a few decades –– but the largest deployment of electric vehicles ever was recently thrown into doubt when the People’s Republic of China outlawed most of the wildly popular battery–powered scooters. Advanced batteries can finally deliver the power and recharge time seen as necessary for wide acceptance as an EV power source –– if safety issues can be addressed (and if the prices come down).
With these types of opposing trends and developments in play, it is more important than ever to have access to an informed analysis of the industry’s status, scenarios, and, ultimately, realistic assessment of the industry’s fortunes.
This report will provide this analysis, starting with a summary of the technology involved, then detailed profiles of major power source and vehicle makers, and finally with well–defined consensus, optimistic, and pessimistic market scenarios for units sold, value of these units, and prices.
This report is intended to provide a unique analysis of the broadly defined global electric vehicle market and will be of interest to all types of automakers, manufacturers of batteries, battery chargers, and fuel cells. It also will be valuable to current and existing electrical vehicle users and competitors.
This report also can provide valuable information in terms of assessing investment in particular technologies and, therefore, should benefit investors directly or indirectly. Automakers and power source suppliers also may find market trends of interest in view of establishing growth strategies. BCC Research wishes to thank those companies, government agencies, and university researchers that contributed information for this report.
SCOPE OF REPORT
After decades of expensive development and false starts, the world is finally ready for electric vehicles. As defined by this report, “electric vehicles” includes commercial approaches such as pure battery–powered vehicles, plug–in hybrids, hybrid internal combustion/battery, range extending, and fuel cell vehicles as well as vehicles powered by developmental power sources such as supercapacitors and flywheel–powered. In addition to cars and trucks, this report considers motorcycles, scooters, buses, neighborhood electric vehicles, and locomotives.
This report details the actuals for 2005 and 2009 and compound annual growth rate (CAGR) projections for 2010 through 2015 for the North American, European, Far Eastern, and Rest–of–World markets. Selected 2005 actuals will help as a basis for today’s markets and tomorrow’s projections. Vehicle sales and values are provided under consensus, optimistic, and pessimistic scenarios. A patent analysis and discussion for power sources and vehicle components describes where research is performed and emphasizes intellectual property issues.
This report is organized into the following two sectors and their associated subsectors:
Markets by power source:
- Batteries (HEVs, PHEVs, and EVs)
- Fuel cells
Of course, these power sources can be combined into various vehicle configurations:
- Hybrid Electric Vehicles
- Plug–in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
- Electric Vehicles
Markets by vehicle type:
- Passenger vehicles
- Low velocity
- Commercial /industrial
These market sectors are defined, leading companies are identified, and the markets analyzed (including a 5–year market forecast). Finally, status and recent events for both power source and vehicle maker companies are provided in the Company Profiles section.
Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this report, which is based on interviews with commercial and government sources, literature reviews, and patent examinations. Throughout the report, past market data is expressed in current dollars, and estimates and projections are in constant 2010 dollars. Historic markets (2005 and 2009) and the projected market for 2015 are provided. Most market summaries are based on a consensus scenario that assumes no unanticipated technical advances and no unexpected legislation. Pessimistic, consensus, and optimistic market scenarios characterize several developmental markets. Totals are rounded to the nearest million dollars. When appropriate, information from previously published sources is identified to allow a more detailed examination by clients.
Market assumptions used in this report include those based on updates of material from an earlier version of this analysis, as well as from BCC Research studies, FCB024E Large and Advanced Battery Technology and Markets and FCB028E Lithium Batteries: Markets and Materials. This report’s author prepared these studies as well. He also edits the twice–monthly BCC Research newsletter, Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Progress, which is a uniquely valuable source for this market. Although many segments of the industry are well documented, much of this information is based on estimates, not hard facts. The distinction between these estimates and hard facts can be vital, and wherever possible, sources are identified.
This report’s project analyst, Donald Saxman, is the editor of BCC Research’s Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Progress and Fuel Cell Industry Report newsletters, and has founded several other BCC newsletters. Mr. Saxman has more than 28 years of experience in market analysis, technical writing, and newsletter editing. Since 1983, he has operated as a technical market consultant and subcontractor to BCC Research, and, in this capacity, he has prepared more than 80 technology market research reports, including many that covered battery technology and battery markets. His previous experience includes supervision of a quality–control laboratory at a major secondary lead refinery, experience as an analytical chemist at a hazardous waste testing service, product assurance manager for a space station life–support–system project, and an information technology business analyst and project manager.
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The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice; nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or its use.