Plug-In Electric Car Market

Plug-In Electric Car Market by Technology (BEV, PHEV), by Segment (Economy, Low, Medium, Premium), by Geography (U.S., Canada, China, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, U.K., Germany, France) – Global Market Size, Share, Development, Growth, and Demand Forecast, 2013–2023

Published: December 2017
Report Code: AT11421
Available Format:
Pages: 162

Plug-In Electric Car Market Overview

The global plug-in electric car market sales are estimated to be 927,485 units in 2017, witnessing a CAGR of 33.6% during the forecast period. The stringent emission norms all across the globe is the major factor driving the market for electric cars. Apart from this, the declining automobiles’ battery cost and entry of several new plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) variants is expected to benefit the plug-in electric car market during the forecast period.

On the basis of technology, the plug-in electric car market is segmented into Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). BEVs are estimated hold the larger share in the market mainly because of their dominance in China, the largest PEV market. The share of BEVs are expected to further increase during the forecast period with increasing government support for BEVs in comparison with PHEVs as the former is eco-friendlier.

Among all the segments, economy PEVs are estimated to account for the largest share in the plug-in electric car market in 2017, followed by low-segment PEVs. Lower prices of these PEVs compared to medium- and premium-segment PEVs, coupled with their preference in key markets such as China, drove its sales during the historical period.

China is expected to be the largest market for PEVs during the forecast period, with a significant contribution to the plug-in electric car market. China, U.S., and U.K. are expected to constitute close to 70% of the global PEV sales volume in 2023. The rising environmental concern, the growing government support and subsidies for electric cars, and the increasing ownership costs of ICE cars are the major factors driving the demand for PEVs.

Plug-In Electric Car Market Dynamics


The stringent emission norms all around the globe is one of the major driver for the plug-in electric car market. The emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) has increased significantly over the last decade. To limit the adverse effects of these gases, several actions have been taken all around the world. Several steps are being taken by the European Commission to achieve a cleaner environment with new ambitious environmental targets. For example, as per the Europe 2020 strategy, the European Union (EU) targets to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20% by 2020, from the emission levels reported for the year 1990.

Many countries have proposed motor vehicle fuel efficiency and GHG emission policies to reduce vehicle emissions. The growing environmental concern around the world is leading to a gradual phase out of fossil fuels. Stringent emission norms would ultimately increase the price of conventional cars and encourage the customers and automobile companies to adopt electric cars. Many countries have increased the taxes on conventional fuel cars and, at the same time, are offering many financial and non-financial incentives on electric cars to promote the sale of low-emission vehicles, benefiting the plug-in electric car market.


Lack of adequate charging infrastructure and value chain ecosystem is one of the major restraints for plug-in electric car market. Most countries do not have adequate public charging infrastructure. For instance, in France, for every 10,000 registered vehicles, there is only one charging point. Similarly, the average number of charging stations in Germany is around 1.9 per 10,000 electric vehicles.

Government subsidies will have a limited effect on the electric car adoption if there is not adequate charging infrastructure. As the average charging time of an electric car is high, shortage of public charging stations would lead to congestion, which would further lead to reduced public interest in electric cars. Apart from charging stations, support from other entities such as electricity utilities, financial institutions, service providers, and leasing companies is quite limited to back the growth of the plug-in electric car market.


Range anxiety in customers is a major factor thwarting the deployment of electric cars around the world. Most electric cars, today, have a low range (less than 120 miles) compared to their equivalent conventional fuel cars. The plug-in electric car market is increasingly moving toward long-range electric cars. Companies are focusing on introducing electric cars that can cover more than 200 miles on a single charge. In this regard, the Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla Model 3 are the cars that offer a mileage of more than 200 miles to their drivers.

Further, with advancement in the battery technology, the range of an electric car can be extended to a limit where it can compete with all major conventional fuel cars. Increasing range will build customer trust and, in turn, will increase their preference for a PEV over a conventional car. High-range electric cars offers a lucrative opportunity in the plug-in electric car market in the near future.

Plug-In Electric Car Market Competitive Landscape

The plug-in electric car market is highly fragmented, with top three players accounting for less than 50% of the total sales, in 2017. BYD Company Limited (BYD) stood as the industry leader in 2016 because of its market dominance in China and popularity of its Tang and Qin plug-in electric cars. BYD was closely followed by the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance because of the growing popularity of the Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi Outlander. Tesla Inc. accounted for 13% of the global PEV sales in 2016, benefited by the demand for its Model S and Model X.

Other important players in the global plug-in electric car market included BAIC Motor Corporation Limited, Geely Automobile Holdings Limited, BMW Group, General Motors Company, Hyundai Motor Company.

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