"Our car is not for everyone, there's no doubt of that, but it's for a lot of people."
JD Powers forecasts that 12,000 electric vehicles will be sold in the United States this year -- a tiny fraction of the 12 to 13 million vehicle market.
That number should rise to 100,000 vehicles in the United States and 800,000 worldwide in 2016 as more automakers enter the electric market and more consumers are drawn to the product, said JD Powers auto industry analyst Mike Omotoso.
While those numbers look impressive, electric cars are forecast to make up just 0.6 percent of the US market and 1.3 percent of global auto sales by 2016.
More flexible hybrids are expected to take a bigger chunk as automakers expand their offerings to meet stringent fuel economy and emissions standards.
JD Powers forecasts hybrid sales will reach 1.1 million units in the United States and 3.1 million worldwide in 2016, which is around seven and five percent of the markets.
"One of the things that's slowing down the growth of hybrids and electric vehicles is that we're seeing a big improvement in fuel economy with gasoline-powered vehicles," Omotoso said in a telephone interview.