Pike Research’s report, ‘Plug-in Electric Vehicles’, which analyzes opportunities and challenges in the emerging market for PHEVs and BEVs, forecasts that China will be the largest market for EVs, with more than 888,000 PHEVs and BEVs sold by 2015, representing 27% of worldwide sales.

According to the report, China will be followed on close heels by the US, which is expected to sell 841,000 vehicles constituting 26% of the global market.

The Pike Research report that examines electric drivetrain and battery technology, government incentives and regulations, and key drivers of market growth also predicts that EVs will be launched in small car segment for consumer markets initially, with the small SUV segment close behind.

This is because the small cars with low weight and good aerodynamics are suited to better extend the electrically powered driving range and also smaller vehicle segments allow the use of a smaller, less expensive battery.

Pike Research senior analyst Dave Hurst said that PHEVs and BEVs will complement, rather than displacing, the market for conventional hybrid EVs.