A 20-page report from green consultant Pikes Research said the global sale of electric vehicles could reach 3.8 million by 2020. Pikes Senior Analyst Dave Hurst said in a statement that EV sales should experience a 40 percent growth rate when compared to a 2 percent rate for the overall automobile market through the end of the decade.
"Sales of EVs have not lived up to automakers' expectations and politicians' proclamations but the market is expanding steadily as fuel prices remain high and consumers increasingly seek alternatives to internal combustion engines," he said.
The research follows a statement from motor group AAA that gasoline prices were the highest on average for U.S. consumers in 2012.
A forum in Germany last year hosted by the International Energy Agency found that electric vehicles may be one of the best ways to decrease the carbon footprint of the transportation sector.
The IEA said the sale of electric vehicles needs to double every year for the next decade to make a substantial contribution to a low-carbon future.