Pure electric cars accelerate the destruction of plug-in hybrids

In a new report “Electric Vehicles 2020-2030” with forecasts for electric vehicles in 100 categories, Dr. Peter Harrop of the IDTechEx market research firm records a permanent paradox in the automotive industry.

While we are disappointed with the decision of car makers such as Mini, BMW, Škoda, Volvo, Porsche, Mercedes that join the popular plug-in hybrid automobile trend, the fundamentals are all against them.

While plug-in hybrid cars have become easy to buy, with short delivery times, the manufacturers of pure electric vehicles with the longest range have long waiting lists, yet they will catch up, promises Dr Harrop. GM abandoned its Volt plug-in hybrid. Many users report two types of range anxiety: small battery and small gas tank. The UK withdrew PHEV support because people never plugged them in, which meant there were no environmental benefit. Consequently, although plug-in hybrid sales have been rising, their market share has been dropping since 2013, according to IDTechEx.

“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 “, remarks Dr Harrop.

“Well-funded startups 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 but they face increasing range anxiety from the number of gas stations plummeting – down 90% in the UK in recent years for example as charging stations increase. They also have financial anxiety from dropping resale values”, IDTechEx’ Chairman observes.

“There is absolutely nothing to reverse dropping market share for plug-in hybrids leading to decline in sales numbers. Indeed, with new inputs, we have just revised our 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”, concluded Harrop.

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