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Electric vehicles to find more buyers in China and Europe than in the U.S.

June 17/2011

(Detroit Free Press) -- Electric vehicles will find more buyers in China and Europe than in the U.S. over the coming decade, mainly because fuel efficiency of conventional gas engines is improving faster and at a lower cost than automakers expected, according to a new study by Boston Consulting Group.

Electric cars will undoubtedly play an increasingly large role in many countries plans as energy independence and environmental concerns intensify, said Xavier Mosquet, global leader of Boston Consulting Groups automotive practice. But they will gain only modest ground up to 2020.

The BCG study clashes with a separate study released by the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor that estimates that automakers will spend an additional USD 3.700 to 9.000 per vehicle to achieve government fuel economy standard of between 47 and 62 miles per gallon by 2025.

About 13% of consumers in China say they are willing to pay a premium of USD 4.500 to 6000 for a green vehicle. That compares with 9% of Europeans and just 6% of Americans. BCG expects that electric vehicles (hybrids, plug-ins and battery-only cars) will represent 7% of Chinas new light vehicle sales in 2020, versus 8% in Europe and 2% of North American new car sales.

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