One-Third of Vehicle Mix to Feature Alternative Powertrains in 2025


Tim Dunne

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. Continue reading ›

Green Doesn’t Seem to Sell BEVs

Mike VanNieuwkuyk

Vehicle owners are well aware that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) such as the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus BEV and Honda Fit EV are green and eco-friendly, but green sentiment and “green habits” don’t seem to impact consideration and eventually purchase of a BEV, according to findings in our latest U.S. BEV Market Study.

We see that consideration rates for purchasing BEVs are nearly the same among owners who indicate they already conserve and recycle (44%) vs. those owners who say they are just beginning to take some kind of eco-friendly action (43%). The consideration rate is slightly lower for those owners who are exploring ways to reduce their carbon footprint and conserve resources, but say they have not taken any specific action (39%).

As for intent to purchase, we also find from our study results that only 3% of vehicle owners who indicate they “strongly agree” or even “somewhat agree” that they would pay extra for green or eco-friendly products, indicate that their next vehicle will likely have a battery electric powertrain. This is only 1 point higher than the percentage of owners who are likely to buy a BEV, but are basically indifferent to green products (2%). Continue reading ›

Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf Buyer Profiles Differ Slightly

Mike Murray

During the first 6 months of 2011, buyers or lessees of the new Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) tended to be slightly older and more often male than buyers of the Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicle (BEV), based on Power Information Network® (PIN) retail transaction data from J.D. Power and Associates. Both models launched in the US market in December 2010.

PIN data indicates that in the first half of 2011, nearly one-fourth (24.3%) of Nissan Leaf transactions were by females, while only 17.4% of Volt transactions were by female buyers—a significant difference of 8.9 percentage points. In addition, the average buyer age for the Leaf was slightly younger—the average customer was 51 years old compared with 52 years of age for Volt buyers or lessees. Continue reading ›

CAFE Changes Boost Powertrain Efficiency Improvements

Kevin Riddell

Even though a 56.2-mpg CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) average in 2025 is not yet written in stone, automakers do realize that the national standards will continue to rise well into the next decade. As a result, we expect to continue seeing trends such as: engine displacement reduction; the increased use of direct injection and turbocharging; an increasing number of gears in automatic transmissions; and increasing hybridization from start-stop systems to dedicated electric vehicles (EVs), to name a few.

A few years ago, when the 35-mpg standard for 2016 was announced, it was generally thought that hybrids would begin to make up much more of automakers’ sales than they currently do. Cost continues to hinder the growth potential of this technology. As a result, between 2008 and 2010, the share of new hybrid sales has remained at around 2.5%, despite higher fuel prices during the past few years. The hybrid market is expected to grow, but the price of the technology will temper this increase over the next few years. Continue reading ›

Plug-in Prius and Other Plug-in Models may Outperform BEVs

Mike Omotoso

Toyota Group’s new Prius Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) will be available at dealerships in 15 US states next spring, and the company recently announced that the plug-in technology will become standard on Prius hybrid electric cars in 2014. Since the first Toyota Prius was launched, sales of the automaker’s popular hybrid have surpassed 2 million units worldwide. Toyota officials say they hope to sell 1 million hybrids annually by 2015, which would be more than a 40% increase from 700,000 hybrid sales globally in 2010.

Plug-in Hybrids may Outpace Battery-Electric Vehicle Sales

In the future, plug-in hybrids are expected to be more successful than battery electric vehicles (BEVs) for a number of reasons. One advantage of plug-ins is that they overcome the ‘range anxiety’ issue that BEVs face. BEVs typically have a 70-100 mile range before they need to be recharged, which is a lot less than people are used to. Typically, plug-ins have a 300-400 mile range, which is closer to what drivers of conventional gasoline-powered cars expect and achieve. Continue reading ›

Economic Factors Shape Consumer Attitudes on Green Vehicles

Christopher Malott

When asked to consider a hybrid electric (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV), clean diesel engine or battery electric vehicle (BEV) for their next new-vehicle purchase, a large proportion of consumers express interest in at least one of these options.

While vehicle price remains a primary concern impeding consideration of these powertrains, the ability to save money on fuel costs through improved economy is the most often cited benefit of ownership, according to the  J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Green Automotive Study.SM

However, even though the financial benefits relating to fueling are recognized by these consumers, oftentimes the upfront price premium of an alternative powertrain option is too high to overcome. Price, in fact, may become a more prominent concern for consumers considering HEVs and clean diesel engines, since tax credits from the Energy Policy Act of 2005 were phased out at the end of 2010. Continue reading ›

Can China Take the “Green” Lead in the Auto Industry?

China is now the largest market for vehicles in the world, according to J.D. Power and Associates. Market analysts from J.D. Power Asia Pacific forecast that passenger-vehicle and light-commercial vehicle sales growth in 2010 vs. 2009 will surpass 30%. China’s government can be given the credit for supporting auto industry growth through a difficult . . . Continue Reading Can China Take the “Green” Lead in the Auto Industry?

China: Promise for Growth of “Green” Vehicles

More than a year ago, China’s President Hu Jintao said his country would intensify efforts to conserve and improve energy efficiency, noting, “We will endeavor to cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by a notable margin by 2020,” according to a citation in a special report from J.D. Power and Associates, “Drive . . . Continue Reading China: Promise for Growth of “Green” Vehicles