Ten predictions for the EV market as seen by IHS

February 04, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The global market for hybrid and battery electric cars gets moving. Driven by tighter emission standards in Europe and pushed by greater choice, production of such vehicles will steeply rise and the price will fall. Market research company IHS has identified ten market trends for (H)EVs in 2014.

Production explosion. Driven by tighter emission standards, the production of (H)EVs will soar in 2014 by an elusive margin of 67 percent over 2013. While this looks almost unbelievable, the lion's share of the growth goes to hybrid cars. IHS automotive experts anticipate a global production volume of 403.000 in 2014, up from 242.000. No surprise: The largest portion of the production (40%) will take place in Europe while Asia-Pacific and the Americas will contribute some 30% each to the production. The high increase in (H)EV production is in sharp contrast to the total motor vehicles production increase of just 3.6%.

More choice for customers . Ultimately, German carmakers will follow early bird BMW with its i3 electric vehicle and populate the market. In 2014, Volkswagen will make its e-up! available, Daimler brings its B-Class Electric and Audi contributes the A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid.

Battery capacity up, price down. In 2014 and the coming years, carmakers are expected to deliver concept and production-ready electric vehicles with larger batteries. Capacities of up to 40 kWh will allow driving ranges of 240 km (150 miles) and more. This is a result of a price war between LG Chem (which supplies the batteries to the Chevrolet Volt) and Panasonic (Tesla). Plus, Samsung SDI (BMW i3, Fiat 500e) will also start to compete more intensively. As a consequence of the lower price, OEMs can afford to equip the vehicles with larger batteries, the market researchers say.

More fuel-saving technologies. An example is Bosch's coasting approach which helps to increase the energy-saving benefits of hybrid electric vehicles.

More charging stations. The installed base of EV charging stations will surpass the 1.1 million units mark, with 35.000 new stations expected in the public and semi-public domain.

Charging compatibility. Finally, "trio" chargers will become available. These chargers are compatible with all three competing de-facto standards for the charging plug: AC-Type 2 Mode 3, DC-CHAdeMO and DC-CCS. The