Global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) will reach 1.8 million by 2023, according to a report published by Navigant Research.
The global growth in EVs will be driven by Asia Pacific which is predicted to beat out North America to become the largest market for EVs by 2018.
Currently North America is by far and away the largest global market for EVs with nearly 100,000 sold in 2013. The second largest market, Japan lags someway behind with just under 30,000 sales, followed by the Dutch (>23,000) and China (>17,000).
The report notes that, while EVs are widely accessible in Western Europe and North America, access to EVs in Asia Pacific remains challenging. However, Navigant predicts that this will change over the next few years.
“EVs are becoming more available and more price-competitive, both geographically and in vehicle segments outside of small and luxury car classes,” said Scott Shepard, research analyst with Navigant Research. “That is expanding the universe of potential EV buyers beyond the narrow demographics of early adopters to a wider market that is similar to that for hybrid electric vehicles.”
The research firm predicts that the nature of EVs will mean that sales will be concentrated in more urbane areas with higher populations and households. Tokyo, Los Angeles and Paris are expected to be the global EV capitals with predicted EV sales of 49,000, 39,000 and 25,000 by 2023 respectively.
The report also notes that the level of EV sales could potentially affect grid distribution systems, with Navigant Research estimating that EVs increase residential customer load by between 33% and 37%.
The UK remains a long way behind its main global competitors in terms of EV sales. The graph below shows the number of ultra low emission vehicles sold in the UK this year: