Navigant Predicts Japan Will Somehow Lead The World in Annual Plug-In Vehicle Sales in 2020; We Disagree

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 5

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

Sometimes, future prediction by research analyst groups seem spot on.  Other times, we’re not so sure what the analysts are thinking.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The later is the case here in this recent report released by Navigant Research.

But first, we’ll focus on what Navigant seems to have gotten right.  Navigant forecasts that sales plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) will reach 3 million globally by 2020, representing 3% of the global light-duty vehicle segment.  This we agree with, at least as much as we can considering that even we can’t see 7 years into the future.

However, this next bit doesn’t seem at all accurate to us.  Navigant says that in 2020, Japan will be the leading market for PEVs, with sales at 900,000 units in that year alone.

900,000 units may be somewhat accurate, but why would Navigant say that Japan will lead the world?

The US is currently the world’s largest market for plug-in electric vehicles and will likely remain in the lead. There’s almost no mention of Japan regaining the slim lead it once had.  In fact, even for the Nissan LEAF, the US is now its leading market.

Japan is always on the cutting edge of technology, but the nation lacks the necessary population to lead the world in PEV sales by 2020.  At least that’s how we see it.  Do you agree?  If not Japan, then which nation will lead the world in 2020?

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/17/5502981/electric-vehicle-market-forecasts.html#storylink=cpy

Tags: , , , , , , ,

5 responses to "Navigant Predicts Japan Will Somehow Lead The World in Annual Plug-In Vehicle Sales in 2020; We Disagree"

  1. Brian says:

    Not having read the actual prediction, I have to ask – are they referring to a per capita lead? If so, I would agree. If they just mean raw numbers, I don’t see how Japan will overtake the US again. And if India or China start buying EVs, they could easily take the lead.

  2. Aaron says:

    Japan also needs to straighten out their electrical issues. All of their nuclear reactors are currently off-line. Until those come back online, electrical brownouts are continuing to be a factor. Right now, Japan is spending over ¥6 trillion/year buying natural gas from other companies to run their power plants. That level of importing of fuel is not sustainable.

    China is an interesting possibility, but without the governmental subsidies on EVs, the purchase rate of EVs is dropping there. India? Not a chance. The median income level is far too low to make a significant impact on global EV trends.

    If the US subsidies move to point-of-purchase from tax credits, I foresee many more people considering EVs. Many people forget that it isn’t only the tree huggers that buy EVs — it’s also people who want an inexpensive-to-maintain and operate vehicle. (Like me!)

    1. Brian says:

      “China is an interesting possibility, but without the governmental subsidies on EVs, the purchase rate of EVs is dropping there.”

      Very true. The Chinese government has seriously dialed back on EVs. However, if that were to turn around somehow, they could make a serious market for EVs. They are, afterall, the world’s most populous nation.

      “India? Not a chance. The median income level is far too low to make a significant impact on global EV trends.”

      Let’s not be so hasty here. At least according to the headline, the topic is “annual plug-in vehicle sales”. By all measures, that includes light electric vehicles like bikes and motorcycles.

      1. Suprise Cat says:

        India is more the market for very light EV’s, also called tuned golf cars. Also electric bikes could become a huge seller in India, if the government wants them on the streets.

  3. Kimmi says:

    The US market is not only the largest market in ’13 (41K units, Japan is 2nd with 13K), it was also the one that grew more in EV share (If we exclude Norway, of course), but we’re talking 2013, from 7 years on, my money would be in the US at some 1,6 million units, Japan 150.000, France 100.000, Netherlands and Germany 50.000 and Norway 30.000.

    The question mark is China, it can be 50.000 or 150.000, nobody knows for sure what will happen there.