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America 2020: Our Hybrid Future

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Arnold, the Terminator

Arnold, the Terminator

The year is 2020. Skynet lies in ruins, Nancy Grace sits on the U.S. Supreme Court, and one in five of you are buying hybrid vehicles. Also: everyone wears MC Hammer pants.

We're not taking any bets on those first two items, and we hope the last is dead wrong, but the odds on number three are pretty good. According to the auto analysts at JPMorgan, 19.4% of new vehicles sold in 2020 will be hybrids.

On the surface that figure may not seem too impressive--especially in light of the EVs and high-tech vehicles now in the works, which will allegedly take tomorrow's marketplace by storm. But the fact is, in 2008 hybrids accounted for less than 1% of new car sales, so a twentysomething-fold increase in just over a decade is nothing to sneer at. (Specifically, the analysts forecast a jump from 480,000 hybrid sales in 2008 to approximately 11.28 million in 2020.)

Why such an increase? According to JPMorgan, the two biggest reasons are (a) stricter emissions regulations in the U.S. and abroad, and (b) a drop in the average cost of hybrid drivetrains from $5,667 in 2008 to $1,890 by 2020. Both make sense, and the sales boost sounds reasonable--or at least more reasonable than Hammer pants.

[source: AutoNews, sub req'd]

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Comments (5)
  1. "can't touch this"

    I think 20% is low. We aren't going to see "organic" growth of hybrids, ever. the 1% who have bought them drive them to advertise their "greenness". Once the government makes these regs, and gas prices still stay low, we will be between a rock and a hard place wrt hybrids, since no one will want them until gas goes to $4. So, once we see $4 gas OR dictates from the government over the cars that dealers can sell, then we will see 40% hybrid/diesel acceptance rates.

  2. "Clarification on your figures!"

    In the US, the largest market for hybrids, they accounted for 2.5% of overall sales in 2008. The total is something like 300K out of 12 million.
    That 1% figure is for GLOBAL share of hybrids: Roughly 600K out of 60 million.

  3. "addendum to my clarification ..."

    CORRECTION: I just clicked through to the Automotive News article, and see global share is actually 0.7 percent, or 480K out of 68.6 million. I was high on the global percent, a little low on the overall vehicle total.
    But I know the US percentage is right; hybrids get a higher market share here than anywhere else in the world.

  4. "Yup..."

    I managed to mix my global and U.S. data, which was wrong. Not as wrong as Hammer pants, but wrong.

  5. "Hybrid Incentives"

    Better government incentives for buyers of hybrid vehicles could stimulate sales for car manufacturers and dealers, create more jobs, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and help clean the environment.

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