The latest research predicts that with sales of 1.8 million vehicles a year by the end of the decade, North America will account for almost 50 percent of the global electric car market.
The new year has bought with it a host of positive reports surrounding the future electric vehicles. The latest, courtesy of Pike Research, suggests that plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) will continue to grow in popularity in US cities as the decade continues, leading to sales of 1.8 million in the largest 102 US cities by 2020.
"More than a quarter of all annual U.S. PEV sales will be in the top five metropolitan areas for PEV sales - New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland," says senior research analyst Dave Hurst. "But thanks to a combination of positive attitudes towards green driving, high fuel prices, and state government support, California metropolitan statistical areas will account for more than one in five PEVs sold."
The report's analysis reveals that this growing interest is translating into higher sales because the charging infrastructure required to support these vehicles is also finally developing at a perceivable rate. Texas, for example, has seen a dramatic increase in the number of EV charging stations available in 2012. Pike Research's index of positive opinions toward PEVs moved the state's ranking from 42nd in 2010 to fourth in 2012, the largest change of any state in the index.
The latest forecasts regarding global sales of electric vehicles estimate that worldwide sales will hit 3.8 million a year by 2020, which means that with 47 percent of predicted sales, the US will be the largest single market for PEVs by the end of the end of the decade. Evidence of this change in mindset and focus, away from horsepower, SUVs and straight-line speed, was clear to see at this year's North American International Auto Show which featured a number of electric, electric-hybrid and super-energy efficient gas engine vehicles from a host of major manufacturers, including Ford and General Motors, as well as committed US electric vehicle manufacturers such as Tesla.