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

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?

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