Monday, June 21, 2010

J.D. Power: Annual U.S. Hybrid Sales Beyond 1 Million by 2015

2010 Toyota Prius

J.D. Power believes that conventional hybrids, like the Toyota Prius, will make up as much as 98 percent of cars that use battery power in 2015.

The economic recession and low gas prices recently have taken their toll on consumer interest in fuel-efficient alternative power cars. But that�"s about to turn around according to research firm J.D. Power.

In a new report, J.D. Power analysts said that global sales of electric-drive cars are expected to reach 940,000 units this year compared with 732,000 units last year, with the number jumping beyond 3 million in 2015. Despite the growth, that would represent a modest 3.4 percent of global light-vehicle sales. According to the firm, conventional hybrids�rather than plug-in cars�are forecast to make up the vast majority of the sales.

Hybrids in U.S. and EVs in China

The big shift will happen with conventional hybrids in the United States and electric cars in China, according to the report. J.D. Power also said it expected the U.S. to account for 55 percent of the hybrid market by 2015�meaning conventional hybrid sales in the U.S. would grow from less than 300,000 in 2009, to around 1.4 million by 2015. In the United States, that could account for close to 10 percent of the total U.S. market.

Meanwhile, nearly half of the projected 500,000 sales of plug-in cars by 2015 will happen in China. J.D. Power believes that hybrids will be more popular than plug-in cars due to higher cost and limited driving range. (Obviously, this point is up for debate.)

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