TOKYO – Two market research organizations predict slower growth in hybrid- and electric-vehicle sales than previously forecasted.
IHS Automotive predicts global vehicle production will grow to 106.8 million units in 2020, up from 83.1 million projected in 2013. Of the 2020 total, the consultancy estimates full hybrids will account for 2.9% of demand or 3.1 million units, up from 2.1% and 1.7 million projected this year.
In other segments, IHS predicts demand for plug-in hybrids and EVs will grow to 1.3 million and 750,000 by 2020, comprising 1.2% and 0.7% of worldwide sales, respectively. The consultancy forecast earlier that PHEVs and EVs would claim 2.4% and 2.2% of global demand in 2020.
IHS expects EV and PHEV deliveries to total 166,000 and 83,000 units in 2013, claiming 0.2% and 0.1% of worldwide volumes, respectively.
Meanwhile, Fourin, a Nagoya-based automotive research organization, anticipates global hybrid sales of 4.3 million units in 2023, up from 1.6 million projected this year.
Like IHS Automotive, Fourin is bearish on growth prospects for EVs and PHEVs, projecting 2023 sales of 950,000 and 810,000 units. In 2013, the market researcher predicts 79,500 and 72,800 deliveries, respectively.
Fourin expects Japan to remain the world's largest market for hybrid vehicles over the next 10 years, with sales growing to 1.6 million units from 965,000 in 2013. Close behind will be the U.S. at slightly under 1.6 million, up from 465,000 this year, followed by Europe at 1.0 million, up eightfold from current projected levels.
Concerning PHEVs and EVs, Fourin calls for respective 2023 sales of 450,000 and 350,000 units in the U.S.; 140,000 and 120,000 in Europe; 140,000 and 240,000 in Japan; and 80,000 and 240,000 in China.
Tetsuo Kubo, vice president of Fourin, says Chinese consumers are more interested in upscale luxury cars than in vehicles with less environmental impact, meaning previous EV-demand forecasts may be somewhat exaggerated.
Note Japan's budget for so-called clean-energy-vehicle subsidies in fiscal 2013 is ¥30.0 billion ($300 million), up from ¥29.2 billion ($292 million) in fiscal 2012.
A separate subsidy program to stimulate the economy through purchases of environmentally friendly vehicles ended last September. The program, which went into effect in December 2011, offered one-time subsidies of ¥274.7 billion ($2.7 billion).
Kubo expects hybrids’ share of the Japanese market to approach 25% in the next five years.