By 2025, it is likely that more than one-third (36%) of new passenger vehicles in the world market will be equipped with alternative powertrains, according to a forecast from J.D. Power’s strategic partner LMC Automotive. That means that some 30 million of about 110 million passenger vehicles forecast to be sold in 2025 will rely on alternative powertrains and alternative fuels.
A majority of this group of fuel-efficient powertrains (17.5%) are expected to be hybrids—those passenger vehicles incorporating hybrid gasoline/electric powertrains (HEVs) such as the Toyota Prius and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), which rely on both electric batteries and a gasoline engine, such as the Chevrolet Volt. Plug-in electric hybrids will account for a 5% share and gasoline/electric hybrids will make up 12.5% of the product mix. Only 2.5% of the world’s passenger-vehicle mix will be electric vehicles (EVs), such as the pure electric Nissan LEAF, in 2025.
In addition, some 10% of passenger vehicles worldwide will be equipped with diesel powertrains, which are particularly popular in Europe and are gaining in popularity in other large markets, including India. BMW and Volkswagen Group’s Audi premium brand both have raced cars with diesel powertrains. Vehicles that run on flex-fuel powertrain systems such as E85, or blends of ethanol mixtures, are expected to account for another 6% of passenger-vehicle sales; these vehicles are expected to be particularly popular in countries such as Brazil, the United States and Europe.
While 64% of the passenger-vehicle mix will be powered by conventional gasoline engines, those engines will be smaller, and powertrains will be mated with much more fuel-efficient 8-, 9-, and 10-speed transmissions. More than one-half of the mix will be powered by 4-cylinder engines and less than 10% of vehicles will feature V-8s. Also, these smaller, more environmentally friendly and economical engines are becoming more efficient with turbo-charging, gasoline direct injection, and stop/start system technology, which already is prevalent—especially in hybrids. —Tim Dunne, global automotive analyst at J.D. Power and Associates