Environmental concerns and burgeoning fuel-efficiency demand to foster the growth of hybrid vehicles landscape
The rapidly transforming automobile landscape is giving rise to several developments that are aimed at addressing the next-gen consumer requirements. Although large-scale innovations are witnessed in the fuel-engine powered vehicles, the energy-efficiency requirements and the growing emphasis given to environmental safety are giving rise to the various vehicle variants such as—electric and hybrid vehicles. Hybrid vehicles are capturing significant popularity over time, owing to their greater contribution in reducing carbon emissions. Hybrid vehicles are considered as a crucial aspect in the future mobility. Factors such as improved emission results, fuel economy results, and burgeoning tax incentives in leading nations are pushing consumer preference towards electric and hybrid vehicles. Automotive manufacturers seek to address emerging environment-friendly alternatives in the form of hybrid vehicles.
Automotive Manufacturers Building a Hybrid Technology Roadmap
The projected rise in fuel costs and the alarming environmental scenarios are influencing automotive manufacturers to shift towards hybrid technology. Leading manufacturers of hybrid vehicles are focused towards cashing on the opportunities reflected by the lucrative markets. Furthermore, the global preference shift from internal combustion engine-powered vehicles towards electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid vehicles is greatly influencing the production of hybrid vehicles. Although not stated in official statements presently, the key cities such as Athens, Paris, Madrid, and Mexico City have expressed that plans to remove diesel-powered cars by 2025. These being not the only ones, Norway also plans to opt out of providing conventional vehicles by 2025, France by 2040 followed by the United Kingdom in 2050. The government is indicating the globe that there is a crucial need to shift towards zero emission vehicles, this being a notable aspect for carmakers. Companies such as Ferrari are increasingly moving towards hybrid vehicles wherein they commit to offer over 60 percent of its vehicle mobiles to be built upon hybrid powertrains, by 2022.
Governments Extending Hybrid Vehicle Commitments
In the wave of the hybrid vehicles trend, the governments are increasingly extending their activities in favor of expanding the hybrid vehicles landscape. In light to promote sustainable transport, governing bodies are extending schemes for individuals incorporating hybrid vehicles. The increasing hybrid vehicle commitments by governments are expected to play a crucial role for manufacturers of hybrid vehicles, as they boost the sales of hybrid vehicles.
The government of Malta, Europe has plans to offer €2.5 million in grants for the individuals that are opting for clean transport such as electric, hybrid, and other low emission vehicles. The applicants that would register the M1 Hybrid Vehicles with CO2 emissions that would range from 40 to 65 gram per kilometer would be eligible for a grant up to €2000.
Europe is not alone in carrying out such initiatives. The Asian countries are also increasingly promoting the implementation of hybrid vehicles. The Indian government, on account of the intensive campaigning of automobile manufacturers, has sought incentive schemes for buyers of hybrid cars that are equipped with lithium-ion batteries of 0.5-2 kilowatt hour. While the previous high GST rates on hybrid cars were are set back for automakers, new incentive schemes would define the scope of hybrid vehicles in the nation. Furthermore, according to the recent notification by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways initiated in a bid to minimize pollution, end-users could now retro-fit electric or hybrid systems on the existing vehicles. Such government initiatives are expected to boost the growth of the hybrid vehicles landscape across leading economies.
Current Focus: Are we Infrastructure-Ready for Hybrid Vehicles?
The feeble infrastructure for charging electric, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid vehicles witnessed across the globe is expected to be a major challenge for the growth expected by the manufacturers of hybrid vehicles. With the increasing requirements of hybrid vehicles, it is equally significant to offer substantial charging infrastructure, which could promote the use of hybrid vehicles across the globe. Leading governments need to prioritize this aspect to ensure effective deployment of hybrid vehicles.
Although hybrid vehicles sale is surging, the lack of charging points could hinder the growth of the hybrid vehicles landscape. The UK, for instance, has witnessed a similar scenario. While on one hand, the sale of electric and hybrid vehicles rising substantially, the country witnessed a lack of charging points to address the demands. The Institute of the Motor Industry in the UK, stated in its 2018 research, that there is a shortfall of electric vehicle charging points and the number of professionals trained to work of hybrid and electric vehicles. The lethargic infrastructure network in the UK is contributing to major difficulties in making efficient use of these vehicles.
On the contrary, there are some positive transformations witnessed in other parts of the world. For instance, the government of New South Wales (NSW), Australia expressed its plan to make significant investments in the avenue. Under its ‘Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Plan’, the NSW government aims to address the ongoing shift towards cleaner mobility. Owing to this, the government will invest nearly $3 million in fast charging points for electric and hybrid vehicles on major regional gateways and $2 million for charging points in car parks.
Hybrid Vehicles or Electric Vehicles?
While there are several initiatives taken to boost the production of vehicles equipped with hybrid vehicles, and the ongoing government initiatives for supporting the hybrid vehicle trend, the comparison between hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles remains vital. In the current scenario, with the complete dependency of electric vehicles on battery charging points, they exhibit a potential challenge for markets such as India, where the charging infrastructure is currently weak. With lack of dependence on re-charging infrastructure, hybrid cares are capturing the major market in terms of its reliability and ease of use. Furthermore, the low-emission requirements are triggering innovations in the automobile space, thereby boosting the plug-in hybrid vehicles business. Electric vehicles come along with two vital challenges that are cost and infrastructure, making automotive OEMs to shift towards hybrid vehicles that not only mitigate these challenges but also deliver benefits such as low emission, fuel economy, and efficiency. The hybrid vehicle production landscape has witnessed tremendous growth owing to this. Various automakers such as Ford, Renault, and Toyota are progressively increasing the production of hybrid vehicles. While the future scope for both electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles looks promising, it would be right to predict that hybrid vehicles would gain major attention from automotive OEMs and consumers.
Although the hybrid vehicles landscape witnesses automotive manufacturers’ struggles with lack of infrastructure and electric vehicle preference, market experts are optimistic over the future opportunities held by the hybrid vehicles market. As both, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles garner consumer attention in the current market scenario, the infrastructure requirements are also expected to be looked upon with priority, thereby significantly boosting the growth of the hybrid vehicles market.
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