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Global production of electric vehicles to rise 67% in 2014

Total production of EVs – both pure electric models and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) – is projected to rise to more than 403,000 this year, up from slightly more than 242,000 in 2013. 

The huge increase in the EV market this year contrasts with the 3.6% rise in global manufacturing of all motor vehicles expected in 2014.

The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region will account for the largest share of production at more than 40%, with the Americas and Asia-Pacific each making up about 30%.

‘European emissions standards are tightening in the second half of this year with the implementation of the European Commission’s Euro6 legislation,’ said Ben Scott, analyst for IHS Automotive. ‘At the same time, European automakers are introducing compelling new EV models, such as the BMW i3. These factors will boost EV demand and manufacturing in Europe in 2014.’

The forecast on production is one of 10 trends identified by IHS for EVs in 2014, with the other nine comprising :

  1. More product availability and greater choice will help widespread adoption of EVs.
  2. The global installed base of EV charging stations is set to reach more than 1.1 million units worldwide by the end of this year. ‘Although most of the installed base is for domestic charging, almost 35,000 charging stations are expected to be installed this year in the public or semi-public domain,’ Scott said.
  3. This year will see the worldwide rollout of public “trio” chargers that comply with the AC-Type 2 Mode 3, DC-CHAdeMO and DC-CCS standards. These public infrastructure solutions have complete compatibility with all EV models, although coming at a price for charge-station owners. Although the product is more expensive than a domestic AC charger, suppliers are confident that the cost of a domestic DC charger can be brought down over time, with installations likely in Europe and China.
  4. Business conditions in 2014 will be tough for companies that manufacture AC charging stations. Margins are low and are expected to become smaller, resulting in an unviable business case, says IHS, which adds that consolidation in the market is likely this year.
  5. In 2014 and the coming years, automakers will deliver concept and production EVs with large batteries that have capacities of approximately 40 kilowatt hours (kWh), which equates to at least a 150-mile range whilst prices will start to get close to the sub-$250 per kWh limit for a lithium-ion battery, which is the generally accepted price level for these batteries to become mass market in automotive, says IHS.
  6. Suppliers and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are expected to demonstrate more energy-and fuel-saving technologies this year, such as Ford’s C-MAX Solar Energi Concept. Technologies like this could bring internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles closer to the energy-saving benefits of hybrid electric vehicles.
  7. Public charging-station operators and owners will continue to struggle to make a profit on electric vehicle charging in 2014. Other forms of revenue generation will need to be implemented this year by operators and owners, such as advertisements on charging stations using integrated liquid-crystal display screens.
  8. This year will be important for new energy vehicles (NEVs) – ie, EVs, PHEVs and fuel cell cars – in China with deployment of these vehicles driven by government policy.
  9. The price of EVs is expected to decrease in 2014, as more OEMs enter the market place. ‘Legislation and incentives are proven to make a significant difference to EV consumer interest as was seen in the Netherlands at the end of 2013, when a tax incentive ended. In this country, more Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs sold in December 2013 than the combined US sales of the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf in the same month,’ Scott remarked.
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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.

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