Plug-in Hybrids: More Models but No Future Says IDTechEx Research
Jun 13, 2019
Something strange is happening. Car manufacturers are issuing a flood of plug-in hybrid cars. The consumer is spoiled for choice with Mini, BMW, Skoda, Volvo, Porsche, Mercedes and others joining in. Those offering the most desirable pure electric cars - those with the longest range and three times the resale value - have long waiting lists but they will catch up. There are no long waits for a plug-in hybrid. GM abandoned its Volt plug-in hybrid. Many users report two types of range anxiety: a small battery and a small gas tank. The UK withdrew PHEV support because people never plugged them in, not benefiting the environment at all. Consequently, although plug-in hybrid sales have been rising, their market share has been dropping since 2013 (IDTechEx and BNEF).
Dr Peter Harrop led the IDTechEx team producing the new report, Electric Vehicles 2020-2030 with EV forecasts in 100 categories. He says "Traditional automotive companies wish to keep the internal combustion engine going for a bit longer. Many have revealed how far they are behind Tesla in pure electric by bringing out what are essentially copies of Tesla powertrains from six years ago but not all. Hyundai Kia, for example, has one-year waiting lists for its excellent pure-electric cars. They will clear that delay, releasing pent-up demand. Others will rapidly copy that success."
"Well-funded start-ups go straight to pure electric. Tesla Roadster will have 1000 kilometers range matching gasoline: it will then become commonplace. Those buying internal combustion vehicles hope the city and country bans will not apply to hybrids However, they face increasing range anxiety from the number of gas stations plummeting - Experian Catalyst reports a drop of 35% in UK gasoline stations since the year 2000 - whilst charging stations increase. They have financial anxiety from dropping resale values."
Harrop concludes, "There is absolutely nothing to reverse dropping market share for plug-in hybrids leading to decline in sales numbers. Indeed, with new inputs, IDTechEx Research have just revised their forecasts down to show plug-in car sales at zero in 2030. Technologically they are becalmed while pure-electric is evolving fast - from camper mode to solar versions that never plug in."
Top image: Mini