Worldwide demand for light hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) is forecast to advance rapidly, reaching 4.5 million units in 2013. HEVs are expected to represent over six percent of world light vehicle demand that year due to two primary stimulants: rising energy costs and increased emissions regulations.
Cost disparities between HEVs and conventional light vehicles - currently estimated at between $600 and $4,000 per vehicle, depending on type of hybrid technology used - are expected to decline significantly as production volumes increase.
The primary markets for HEVs are expected to be within Triad countries (i.e., the U.S., Western Europe and Japan), although the rapidly growing Chinese market is also expected to experience strong demand for these fuel efficient and environmentally cleaner vehicles. These and other trends are presented in World Light Hybrid-Electric Vehicles, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm.
Within the Triad, the U.S. market is expected to experience the greatest levels of demand for HEVs - 2.0 million units in 2013 - due to rising fuel costs, the unique requirements automakers face in meeting fleet Corporate Average Fuel Economy mandates, and the lack of demand for passenger car diesels.
Demand for HEVs in Europe, where overall passenger car diesel demand has already exceeded 40 percent of the total passenger car market, is expected to be significantly lower than in the U.S. Japan will see increased demand for HEVs going forward, reaching 660,000 units in 2013, as government agencies and allied associations continue to put tax rebates and other incentives in place to stimulate demand.
In the Asia/Pacific region outside of Japan, China and South Korea are expected to lead HEV demand over the next decade, due to government interest in dealing with mobile emissions (China), and because local production of HEVs is planned (both China and South Korea).
The Freedonia Group
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