Europe: plug in hybrids gain momentum image

When it comes to electrics, owning a plug-in hybrid might bring you the best of both worlds – emissions free driving inside the city for shorter commutes and all the power and range of a traditional powertrain when going for a long trip.

The consumers are quickly seeing the advantages of having a plug-in hybrid car – even if the technology associated with it comes at a higher initial cost. Today, industry experts and analysts are predicting that plug-ins will surpass traditional hybrid sales by 2019 and then account for around 1.2 million deliveries on the European continent within the next decade. The increase is also brought forth as numerous automakers are introducing such architectures, which allow emission free driving for part of a journey, in order to meet the increasingly tough emission standards that will begin to take effect starting with 2020. Last year, the total sales increase for both hybrids and plug-in hybrids was rather slow. According to figures from JATO Dynamics, deliveries surged 8 percent to 232,343 units, with around 40,000 autos being plug-in hybrids. “The conventional hybrid market has stalled and the pipeline of new models is weak,” comments an analyst from LMC Automotive. The firm expects the percentage between conventional hybrids and plug-ins to make a switch later before the decade ends.

LMC believes deliveries of plug-in hybrids would jump to 600,000 or more by 2021, at which time the sales of conventional hybrids would only soar to about 325,000 units. For example, Swedish automaker Volvo intends to unveil plug-in versions across its entire existing range, and already sees increased demand – with stronger-than-expected global sales for the powertrain.

VIa Automotive News Europe