The mass introduction of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) has gained much attention as a leading solution for reducing global vehicle emissions, improving fuel economy, and reducing the world's dependence on petroleum-based fossil fuels. However, there are significant obstacles that need to be overcome before these objectives can be realized. This report gives a historical perspective on the technologies, provides both a global and regional overview of battery-based technologies, and includes interviews with industry leaders in the field.

By 2020, global passenger vehicle sales are expected to reach 70.9 million units, of which 5.2 million units (7.3% of the total) will feature some type of battery powered configuration.