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Eco-Friendly (Electric) Vehicles: Comprehensive Market Analysis

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Global Clean Vehicle Manufacturing Industry

In the automotive manufacturing area, the world hybrid & electric vehicle industry is expected to record 19% yearly unit sales growth between 2011 and 2015, according to research from TechNavio. Market expansion is influenced by rising worldwide oil consumption and government initiatives favoring environmentally friendly vehicles. However, the expense of hybrid cars remains a significant obstacle to market growth that needs to be addressed in the near future to ensure success.

Market Segments

Though traditionally considered costly early adopter vehicles, plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) may become a mass-market item in coming years as automotive manufacturers focus their efforts on making this a mainstream mode of personal transportation. At its launch in 2011, PEV market output volume was in the region of 20,000 units, reports Pike Research. Factors slowing market growth include the economic recession and consumer unfamiliarity with the technology, which makes the launch of new models to mainstream consumers difficult.

In the short-term, increased sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and PHEVs (the hybrid and electric version of the PEVs) will be uneven throughout various regional markets. North American sales of PHEVs will outpace BEV sales, while in the EU and Asia sales of BEVs will outpace PHEV sales. Currently, the vast majority of OEMs manufacturing PEVs are keeping tight control on output levels, taking the time necessary to explore consumer preferences and new technologies, remaining sensitive to regional discrepancies in demand. Manufacturers are employing caution in strategies devised for the PEV market, though the long-term market outlook is encouraging.

TechNavio predicts the world electric car charging station industry will reach 77% growth between 2011 and 2015. Rising demand for energy independence will continue to spur market expansion, but limited EV performance may present an obstacle to market growth. Leading vendors currently operating in the global EV charging station market include Leviton Manufacturing, Better Place, AeroVironment, Coulomb Technologies and ECOtality.

The global eco-friendly bike battery market is expected to witness 11% expansion over the four-year period ending 2015, according to research from TechNavio. Government initiatives in support of green technology will play an important role in market growth in the future. Next-generation battery development is an important factor in the sector, though battery lifecycle prospects may represent an obstacle to industry expansion. Prominent vendors dominating this market include Panasonic Storage Battery, Chaowei Power, and Tianneng Power. 

Regional Market Share

China’s EV market is predicted to witness unit sales growth in excess of 190% between 2011 and 2015 reports TechNavio. Rising oil consumption in China represents a significant growth factor, with government initiatives spreading consumer awareness regarding electric cars expected to also contribute to market growth. The high cost of green energy efficient automobiles, however, remains a market obstacle.

China’s EV industry has witnessed promotion activities across 25 urban centers since 2009, reports Research in China. EV sales in China reached a modest 8,000 units in 2011, equivalent to 1% of overall global sales in terms of volume. The country’s eco-friendly vehicle plan issued in April of 2012 established a 2015 pure EV sales goal of 500,000 units, rising to 5 million in 2020. This will step up manufacturers’ pace of development of EV and related parts. Of the 8,000 clean vehicles produced in China in 2011, passenger cars accounted for 60%. The country’s clean passenger vehicles are mainly comprised of three models; EV, HEV and FCV. EV comprises the majority of China’s electric passenger vehicles in terms of volume, making up 70% of the overall segment, followed by HEV at 22% and FCV at 8%. Four EV models and one HEV model were chosen to serve as official Chinese government vehicles in 2012, and it is expected that electric vehicles will be selected as the vehicles of choice for an increasing number of official transportation options.

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