According to The Hague, the experts and sales figures point to 2012 as an encouraging year for hybrids and electric cars. A typical example was the tripling in sales of the Chevrolet Volt, one of the most common plug-in hybrids in North America. Still, with only 23,461 of them sold in the US, representing about 0.3 percent of all cars sold, these numbers might be indicators of a shift towards the adoption of green vehicles in the car market.
Pike Research, in a report, stated that by 2020, the global sales of hybrids and electric cars would have reached 3.8 million annually, while also indicating that these would have a sales growth of about 40 percent each year. They also report that in general, car sales would also increase by 2 percent.
Author of the report, Dave Hurst, explained that though EV sales have been largely underwhelming for carmakers and politicians alike, with fuel price being so high, the market is set for increased growth as customers look for alternatives to regular gasoline-driven vehicles.
This estimated growth will reportedly be spearheaded by fully-electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and plug-in hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt, with non-plug-ins which presently make up the majority of green vehicles, taking up the rear with a growth rate of 6 percent.
All-electric cars, at present, represent only a small fraction of the green car market, with consumers showing greater interest in hybrid cars. This is indicated in US sales of only about 0.3 percent, in contrast with the 3 percent of all-electric and hybrid plug-ins respectively. In Europe though, electric cars are more popularly used in car-sharing programs and corporate fleets.
Taking that fact into account, the US still leads Europe in the number of plug-in vehicles in use. It is however estimated that Germany will move up to third in terms of plug-in use by 2018, behind the US and China, with Japan leading the non-plug-in segment with nearly 50 percent of all non-plug-ins sales.
The UK is expected to see double the sales of all-electric vehicles in 2013 according to another expert. Managing editor of nexgreencar.com, Ben Lane explained his views to The Guardian, saying that green cars are still a lot more expensive and there is also the range problem, thus, “Very few people in 2012 were willing to pay a significant sum more for a car that still cannot do everything.”
Those are not the only concerns, as University of Indiana reported from a survey of over 2,000 US adult drivers that most of them neither cared about not knew much regarding plug-in electric vehicles. The report by Bradley Burman which appeared on the Wheels blog a while ago indicated that they discovered “misunderstandings” of electric vehicles in the survey, and quoting the designer of the study, John Graham, also wrote that, “In some cases, the misunderstandings would cause one to be more pessimistic about the vehicle than they should be. And in other cases, it would cause people to be more optimistic than they should be.”