Frost & Sullivan, a global research and consulting firm, forecasts that all European automakers are likely to hybridize their vehicles to some degree—micro, mild and full—by the end of the decade due to stringent emission requirements combined with increasing fuel prices.
Micro-hybrids (start-stop systems with regenerative braking) will represent the most pervasive hybrid approach, especially in the mini, small and compact vehicle segments, according to Frost & Sullivan’s analysis.
Micro-hybrid vehicles are set to dominate the market due to lower hybridization costs and rapid return on investments (ROI) for end users.—Vijayendra R. Rao, Research Analyst
Mini, small and compact segment vehicles are likely to account for about 85–90% of micro-hybrid vehicles by 2015. Further, micro hybridization of the driveline will help vehicle manufacturers reduce emissions and hence satisfy the voluntary European automobile manufacturers association (ACEA) agreement to reduce the CO2 fleet-average emissions to 140g/km by 2008.
Currently, the PSA Group (with its micro-hybrid start-stop system), Honda and Toyota are the only vehicle manufacturers to market hybrid electric vehicles extensively.
Frost & Sullivan expects the strategic alliance of BMW, Daimler Chrysler and General Motors to design and manufacture full hybrid vehicles (two-mode full hybrid systems) will further improve penetration rates of these vehicles.
In support of driving down the cost differential between hybrids and conventional vehicles, Frost & Sullivan recommends that automakers develop collaborations with suppliers of motors for consumer applications to reduce the price of electric motors and ensure the commercial viability of hybrid vehicles. The same strategy can also be applied to battery and electronics suppliers.
Increasing standardization and more capable energy storage solutions are also necessary.
It will become vital to standardize hybrid technology in terms of crucial elements such as starter generators, electric motors, energy storage systems and power electronics. This will assist in reducing research and development costs and facilitate the commercialization of technology at a rapid pace.
Vendors will need to concentrate on obtaining energy storage systems for hybrid electric vehicles with pulse-specific power as well as a high-charge acceptance. This will help to maximize the utilization of regenerative braking and ensure a reasonable product life cycle.—Vijayendra R. Rao
Frost & Sullivan sees the emergence of complete hybrid subsystems (comprising the electric motor, power electronics, energy management system, brake systems and electrical auxiliaries) from suppliers such as Continental AG and ZF Friedrichshafen AG helping to increase the European HEV market from about 40,000 units in 2005 to over 1.2 million units in 2015.