The Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Report
The Electric Light Vehicle Report
Although today electric vehicle (EV) technology is attracting significant attention and investment, it is certainly not a new sector but the resurgence of one that enjoyed considerable popularity during the latter years of the 19th century and the first decade or two of the 20th. Indeed, before the meteoric rise of the internal combustion engine (ICE) it was electric and steam propulsion that competed for dominance in the motorised transportation sector.
However, the ICE had distinct advantages over the other two technologies, particularly with respect to operating range and convenience: the electric vehicle’s batteries frequently required time-consuming recharging and the steam vehicle could not be used before a lengthy warm-up period, and its range was limited by the quantity of water that it could carry. The abundance of cheap oil, the advent of the mass-production assembly line and the development of the self-starter then assured the ICE’s advance as the dominant propulsion technology.
This report focuses primarily on vehicles that rely solely on electric propulsion, and also includes a review of ‘range-extended’ electric vehicles (REEV) that carry an internal combustion engine (ICE) and generator set that is capable of recharging the batteries to enable travel beyond the electric range available from batteries alone. REEVs are predominantly series hybrid vehicles on which the ICE cannot directly power the driving wheels and which feature significant battery capacity.
The Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Light Vehicle Report
In a recent interview with IHS SupplierBusiness, Ernie DeVincent, VP Product Development for Getrag commented: “I think it is absolutely inevitable that the penetration of hybrids is going to have to increase. And this will put a great deal of pressure on the economic side of hybrids, particularly battery costs. Because nobody will meet 54 miles per gallon in the US without a substantially higher mix of hybrids than they have today. So hybridisation is going to be a major factor and this puts a lot of pressure on economics”.
Hybrid vehicles, although not yet attaining very significant market share, are nevertheless a necessary and growing part of the future powertrain mix. Furthermore, hybridisation has more than just fuel efficiency to contribute in performance terms. The inclusion of hybrid components can deliver desirable customer features such as improved cabin features and HVAC, enhanced launch performance to overcome the weaknesses inherent in downsized engines, high boost turbocharging and optimised transmissions as well as limited electrically driven four-wheel drive (4WD) solutions. Therefore, despite the key aspect of fuel economy improvement, additional value can be delivered to the customer through other technologies associated with hybridisation.
This report looks at the Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Light Vehicle sector, which looks at the market drivers, current hybrid architectures and technologies, developing business models and challenges.