Hybrids to increase market share, but...

Hybrids to increase market share, but...

Summary: Big money on Wall Street is betting hybrid autos will become a bigger part of the mass market this decade, but will remain a minority privilege for those who don't need a price-tag bargain. That's the conclusion of a study just out from J.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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Big money on Wall Street is betting hybrid autos will become a bigger part of the mass market this decade, but will remain a minority privilege for those who don't need a price-tag bargain. That's the conclusion of a study just out from J.P. Morgan. By the year 2020, 20% of U.S. car sales will be hyrbids. Globally hybrids will be about 13%. That's eleven years from now. Right now hybrids are about 1% of the global car market. Some automakers have no current hybrids for sale.

Morgan predicts the increase in market share will be accompanied by a narrowing of the price differential between more costly hybrids and the comparable traditional gas cars. The price margin is now estimated at over $5500 per new car, and it should drop to less than $2000 per car by 2020, says Morgan's projection.

PRIUS RULES...IN JAPAN

Despite the current global auto sales slump, the new genertaton Toyota Prius is very popular in its home country. Back orders for the new Prius hybrid in Japan are well beyond expectations. Japan no longer taxes hyrbid car sales. The Prius is expected to become the #1 selling new vehicle there.

Because of the heavy stop-and-go traffic in much of urban Japan the Prius has a strong advantage. It uses no fuel when stopped unless the air conditioning is on. The new model is expected to yield 90 MPG in typical Japanese driving.

Toyota is still facing an overall corporate loss this year. Its Lexus and other cars are not selling well anywhere.

WHAT WILL DETROIT DO?

Up in Michigan the newly toothless auto industry is realizing that's its financial and political dependence has made it unable to stave off tighter efficiency regs in the U.S. And now the industry is starting to look at the future, realizing there is not a single traditional fuel vehicle made in America that meets the future MPG standards. Oops. Back to the drawing board. Lighter materials, less unneeded crud in the car, less glass and more plastic, smaller all around. And then how do you make the surburban commuter buy a smaller, lighter, less armored vehicle? Of course, the hidden agenda? The auto makers in US will have to "re-tool" to meet the standards which they fought for years with expensive lawyers. Now that they can't really get cash, even from gullible Congress, for more lawyers, the auto bigwigs have done a 180 and will ask for money to "re-tool." Bet they get billions. [poll id="139"]

Topic: Tech Industry

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15 comments
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  • Pretty glacial statements . . .

    Pretty cold language around here. Why the scare quotes around re-tool? Why the talk about hidden agendas again?

    Do you just hate them because they exist or something? Is there [b]any[/b] way they could earn your trust?

    Now that they're finally turning around, do you still hate them?
    CobraA1
  • How about none of the above.

    I believe there will be a time when the term "hybrid" will fall out of use because all cars will be hybrids. I think they will get inexpensive before too long too. We've had corporations telling us for years that we wanted big heavy vehicles. Now our Government is telling use we want small, light efficient vehicles. I know I don't care for the hybrids that are available now. Too expensive, too clunky and kind of ugly. When there's a hybrid available for about the same cost and similar operating convenience as a 2000 Ford Escort I'll buy it. That is of course if I'm still around.

    What I don't understand is why some car maker hasn't mated the gas turbine engine with an electric motor. They have nearly opposite operating efficiencies. I know there must be a good reason. Possibly the cost of the turbine or the noise.
    kozmcrae
    • Interesting

      "We've had corporations telling us for years that we wanted big heavy vehicles. Now our Government is telling use we want small, light efficient vehicles."

      My take is, that it's not about what corporations want or what governments want. It's about what people want. And they want - for the large majority - gas-driven cars that are convenient, and comfortable. And they'll choose a larger car over smaller one, at a certain price.

      But I agree, the current hybrids are ugly. And regardless, my SUV still has a couple of years left, before I will replace it (and not with hybrid).
      nizuse
      • Wow! I'm half agreeing with you.

        Unless gas gets obscenely expensive there's no reason to turn in a perfectly good vehicle. Besides, someone else will just drive it. Battery technology at this time is an environmental disaster. Cars do need to get smaller and lighter. The fallacy of driving larger vehicles for better protection is a self sustaining argument. At some point, cars just need to be smaller and lighter.

        Big business and big advertising do determine in large part the mindset of our culture. The stuff we purchase passes though us like shirt through a goose. We are a throwaway society. I don't know what the cure is but I do know it won't be pleasant.
        kozmcrae
        • Gas prices

          Gas is going to get obscenely expensive again. Look what's already happening. The price of oil is already in the mid $60's, and since the Saudi's last week said they think the "fair price" for oil is $70-$80 even in the current "global economic state", the @&%$#@ oil traders march lock step with them and will push the price right up there - wait a few weeks. I also think oil will be $100 a barrel again before summer is over. Whether or not anyone can really afford it - that part never mattered - only greed matters.
          WindowWasher
  • We need the choice "are a good transition technology"

    NT.
    DonnieBoy
  • Your spell checker is broke...

    How many times will you mispell hybrid?

    :-p
    rzrwire@...
  • RE: Hybrids to increase market share, but...

    "It uses no fuel when stopped unless the air conditioning is on."

    Not true. The air conditioning compressor is electrically operated and variable speed. It only runs when needed and uses power from the high voltage hybrid pack. I can sit with my Prius on in a parking lot under full sun and the engine will be off anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes depending upon the charge level and how cool the interior already is and the outside temperature/sun. As the battery drains, the engine will occasionally come on at idle speed for a few minutes to charge up the hybrid pack to a suitable level and shut off again for another 10 minutes or so.

    "The new model is expected to yield 90 MPG in typical Japanese driving."

    I <i>really</i> doubt this. I know the new model is a little "better" than my generation Prius (2008), but not that better. In warm weather, I get about 48-50mpg on my 50 mile round trip commute which is both stop and go and highway speed. Don't forget too that in the cold months, millage goes down as the engine runs more often to generate cabin heat. My winter performance averaged 41mpg during the cold months vs 48-50 in the 55 degree plus months. More power to them though if the 90 is "realistic", it's what the planet needs.
    WindowWasher
    • MPG ?

      You forget the USA has the most "SAFTY" requirements for cars. All those requirements reduce the MPG for all cars. My co-worker had a honda civic from the 70s that got 40 MPG but look at modern day civics (not hybrid) that get around 30 MPG. Technically USA Goverment reduced auto MPG with the "SAFTY" requirements, thank you Congress. Remember lower MPG = more money for Congress since they tax gasoline by the gallon. (I'm not saying this a conspircacy but fact!)

      Side Note:
      Modern battery technology is lacking true hybrid and electrical car performance. Lithium is the best for capacity and weight but lithium is still useless for high-speed recharging, life span and capacity. That is why alternative fuels / resources are being looked at. (Lithium can start on fire and it burns hot; lithium is found in brown dwarf stars to help with hydrogen fusion)

      One truth you never hear about with alternative resources it almost anything can be used as an alternative but is it cost efficient? You have to calculate the cost of creating the resource and distributing the resource. Great site that show why ethanol really hasn't taken off (http://www.energyfuturecoalition.org/biofuels/fact_ethanol.htm). Its all about $, right now oil is still the most cost efficient. Until another resource and be found more cost efficient than oil and also is easy to distribute oil will reign king.
      Yndoendo
  • Future is Extended Range Electrics...

    Hybrids are the first of two long term steps needed to get us from petroleum to electric. The next step in this evolution is extended range electric vehicles (X-REVs). So they are the near-term future step we will see. Plug-in hybrids are slightly different, but also useful in the transition.

    The reality is, mass acceptance of purely electric vehicles is a LONG way off. Maybe as much as 20 years. Why? Two reasons - People are far more afraid of their batteries going dead than running out of gas because a battery recharge takes HOURS. What if you forget to plug your car in overnight? You have no car. People also want to be able to take long driving trips without stopping for many hours of recharge sessions. You can't do that with current purely electric cars, and it doesn't look like that level of technology is going to appear for a very long time.

    Purely electric vehicles will not become the norm until the technology somehow allows people to drive all day, only stopping for quickie food, fuel, and restroom breaks. People can do that now with gasoline cars. They won't give it up. X-REVs are the next step because they provide that one critical ability. Your battery can run out after 40 miles and you can keep on driving for as long as your conventional fuel allows - 300 miles or even more. You could forget to plug it in half the time and still get to work just fine. That's peace of mind.

    Plus, the conventional fuel used to extend the range could be nearly anything, from gasoline, to compressed natural gas, to hydrogen or diesel. Anything that can run the on board generator, works.

    If the manufacturers design the generator and fuel storage in a modular way, the fuel you use to extend the range could even change without replacing your vehicle. Imagine when gasoline hits $10 a gallon, popping out your old gasoline generator from your X-REV and putting in a compressed natural gas (CNG) module which you refill from a compressor installed in your garage. Hook the compressor to your gas line and bingo, you can fill your own tank.

    Heck, imagine eventually putting in a nuclear generator that would allow you to drive non-stop for 5,000 years without ever recharging. That would certainly get around the crappy battery technology issues we have now. The rate we're going we might have tiny reactors long before we have decent batteries, anyway. Even solar technology is progressing faster than batteries.
    BillDem
    • you are correct my friend. Extended Range Electric Vehicles are the way to

      go for the foreseeable future.
      the plugin XR3 Hybrid from http://www.rqriley.com/ shows us just what we can hope to accomplish in the near future if we just get motivated.
      and http://www.evamerica.com has been helping people electrify for many years.

      power to the people!

      :)
      .

      wessonjoe
  • RE: Hybrids to increase market share, but...

    Electric motor "fueled" by an ultra capacitor. Reasonable range, almost instant recharge, unlimited ultracapacitor life.
    tstleh
  • Prius doesn't (necessarily) need to use fuel when the AC is on

    You said "It uses no fuel when stopped unless the air conditioning is on." The Prius has an all electric AC, including the compressor. When it is stopped, the engine will come on (using fuel) if the battery is low. With my Prius normal traffic stops don't cause the engine to come on even if the AC is running.This is one reason why it is just a short step to a plug-in Prius that mostly runs just on the battery for city driving.
    nelson@...
  • No GM cars for me

    No little put-put machine for me....you know they will try and force them down our throats ! the real reason for the bankruptcy and forthcoming bailouts.....that and the unions.

    I will be glad to keep my Town and Country !
    pizzaman7
  • try the 150 MPG XR3 Hybrid from http://www.rqriley.com/

    of course, you'll have to build it yourself.
    the current establishment that is so heavily invested in gasoline will never produce a widely accepted alternative vehicle.

    :)
    .
    wessonjoe