Boulder, Colorado – Mass-marketed plug-in electric vehicles are around the corner worldwide, with 3.2 million sold globally between 2010 and 2015, according to a new forecast by Pike Research.

Plug-in hybrid electric (PHEVs) and battery electric (BEV) vehicles offer improved fuel economy, lower emissions and a quieter ride, and the company expects a compound annual growth rate of 106 per cent over the next five years.

“PHEVs and BEVs will complement, rather than displacing, the market for conventional hybrid vehicles,” said senior analyst Dave Hurst. “Electric vehicles will follow the lead of hybrids and will be launched in the small-car segment for consumer markets initially, with the small SUV segment close behind. Because of their low weight and good aerodynamics, smaller vehicles are far more efficient to better extend the electrically-powered driving range, and the smaller-vehicle segments also allow the use of a smaller, less expensive battery.”

Hurst said that China will be the largest market for electric vehicles, with more than 888,000 PHEVs and BEVs sold by 2015, representing 27 per cent of worldwide sales. Close behind will be the United States, at 841,000 vehicles, or 26 per cent of the global market.

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