By Drew Johnson
Tuesday, Dec 27th, 2011 @ 12:39 pm
 
Despite a heavy push by the world's automakers, a new report finds that electric vehicle sales could total just half of expected levels by 2025.

Although the industry as a whole is expected to increase significantly over the next decade, a new forecast by Morgan Stanley indicates EV sales could stagger over the same time period. Morgan Stanley expects battery-powered vehicles to account for just 4.5 percent of total auto sales in 2025, down from an earlier forecast of 8.6 percent.

That's a stark contrast from most automakers' forecasts, including Renault-Nissan's. The French automaker expects EV sales to account for 10 percent of the global market by 2020.

"To some extent, I think Renault-Nissan and others have tried to 'talk-up' the market following substantial investments, but are finding this increasingly difficult to do. I would agree that the market prospects now look weaker than hitherto," said Dr. Peter Wells of the Cardiff Business Schools Centre for Automotive Industry Research.

Some of that weakness is expected to come from fewer government incentives. Electric vehicle sales are currently heavily subsidized by various governments but, due to economic reasons, those incentives are expected to dry in the coming years. Without government assistance, EVs will simply be too expensive to meet projected sales forecasts.

However, analysts expect electric vehicles to see a healthy uptick in sales once battery technology becomes inexpensive, but that's not expected to happen until sometime after 2025.

References
1.'Electric cars head...' view