According to recent research, the plug-in hybrid vehicle is about to take off with car buyers in a big way, and that they will dominate the electric car sector.
Plug-in hybrid cars address issues and advantages of EVs
The pure electric vehicle is too limited by its range and by the lack of adequate charging station infrastructure to capture the car buying public in a big way, the research firm Frost & Sullivan said in a report, released Tuesday, February 5. However, the plug-in hybrid, or extend range electric vehicle, addresses those problems while also addressing the benefits that attract some buyers to vehicles with electric drivetrains.
“Range extender technologies overcome the major challenge of range anxiety and extended times taken to charge,” said Frost & Sullivan’s Automotive & Transportation Research Associate, Prajyot Sathe.
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Electric vehicle vs. extended range EV
People who are attracted to electric vehicles are concerned about the rising price of gasoline, as well as the impact consuming fossil fuels has on the environment. Many also worry because dependence on fossil fuels puts the nation at the mercy of a commodity dominated by the volatile Middle East. Plug-in hybrid vehicles do use much less fossil fuel than traditional internal combustion vehicles, although they do not eliminate its use entirely.
Plug-in hybrid vehicles use an electric, battery-powered drivetrain, but extend the range of the vehicle with a motor using an alternative power source that kicks in when the battery reaches the bottom of its charge. Examples of these vehicles currently available are the Chevrolet Volt, the Ford Fusion Energi and the Toyota Prius Plug-in.
Internal combustion extenders to dominate
Frost & Sullivan says the market for these vehicles will grow steadily. Its report predicts, quite specifically, that there will be 18 such models on the market by 2018, and that automakers will move 329,277 of them in that future year. At that time, buyers will have the choice of plug-in hybrids that use internal combustion, fuel cell and micro-gas turbine engine range extenders. But hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles have the same issue with the lack of infrastructure that is holding back the adoption of the all-electric vehicle. It is the internal combustion variety, says the report, that will dominate the rising market.