The automotive experts and company executives have always envisioned the hybrid cars as an intermediate, but necessary step towards the next level of cars – fully powered by electricity.
But, as global sales of electric cars have failed to make the projected dent into the buyer’s culture, due to increased acquisition costs, range anxiety and a general lack of trust – it’s up to the – now – old hybrid to profit and prosper.
The technology is even further prone to increased buyer interest, as there are more and more plug-in hybrids on the roads. You can have a plug-in hybrid as your only car – drive it to work every day on electricity – then take it on your vacation without the fear that your battery would be empty in the middle of nowhere.
“Plug-ins are a kind of intermediate technology but will probably be successful for at least 10 or more years,” says Wolfgang Bernhart, a partner at the Roland Berger automotive consultancy.
And there’s another factor that adds to the hybrid’s ongoing success – the recent battle between battery powered electric cars and fuel cell powertrains. They’re both electric cars, but they envision different takes on the drive system. Battery electric cars have the main disadvantages of a small range (compared to traditionally fueled cars) and a long refueling time. Fuel cells have a huge acquisition cost and a lack of hydrogen refueling stations against them.