J.D. Power & Associates predicts that hybrid cars and electric vehicles would only account for 7.3% of global sales by 2020. This is certainly lower than what advocates for these fuel-saving technologies have forecast.
In a survey done by J.D. Power, it was estimated that combined deliveries of hybrids, such as Toyota Motor Corp.’s Prius, and battery-powered cars including Nissan Motor Co.’s Leaf could reach 5.2 million units that year, out of an estimated 70.9 million passenger vehicle sales.
This fails to come up to Nissan-Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn’s forecast that electric cars alone will make up 10% of global sales by 2020.
John Humphrey, senior vice president of automotive operations for J.D. Power, said that it would be the customers who would ultimately decide if these vehicles would be commercially successful.
He explained that a “mass migration to green vehicles in the coming decade” isn’t expected because of consumer attitudes towards these vehicles and barring significant changes to public policy such as tax incentives and stricter fuel-economy standards.
Billions of dollars are being spent by carmakers and governments in the US, Europe, Japan and China to hasten the development of autos that use little or no petroleum to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diminish exposure to oil-price swings.
At least $11 billion in taxpayer aid has been pledged by the Obama administration so that electric vehicles could enter production. The funding is expected to provided to Nissan, Ford Motor Co., Tesla Motors Inc. and other car and battery makers. [via autonews - sub. required]