Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technology Must Adapt to Diverse Customer Needs

ABI Research finds that as hybrids reach into the mainstream, there will be changes in perception and function, which will mean different things to different markets.

Oyster Bay, NY - April 28, 2005 - With consumer acceptance of hybrid-electric vehicles growing, and with high fuel economy gains being reported, the present generation of hybrid technology may be deemed a success. But what changes to approach or technology will be registered during the course of the next generation, and will hybrids be feasible for all markets? ABI Research finds that as hybrids reach into the mainstream, there will be changes in perception and function, which will mean different things to different markets.


"When viewing the consumer market, where hybrid vehicles have had their greatest success, we begin to see a trend where hybrid technology is being offered in top-line models to increase both fuel economy and performance, and to enhance the overall driving experience," notes senior analyst, Dan Benjamin. "By comparison, commercial fleet owners are not willing to pay a premium for driver satisfaction or trendiness. Hybrids need to compete on total cost-of-ownership, with a focus on fuel economy and not necessarily on being fun to drive. The market demands are totally different, and accordingly the technology will differ as well."

ABI Research is the only research firm to offer a dedicated study on the unique market demands for hybrid technology from both fleets and businesses. The report, "Commercial Hybrid Electric Vehicles," finds that the upcoming generation of hybrid trucks will focus on cost reduction and specific market niches where the technology can be most cost effective, such as high-mileage, stop-and-go delivery vehicles.

ABI Research has also revised its flagship hybrid report "Hybrid Electric Vehicles," which finds that in consumer markets, technological advances revolve around making the technology more modular, so that it can be easily introduced to multiple vehicle platforms. This will be essential to increase model availability and production volumes. Both studies provide forecasts of overall unit shipments and market values of key components through 2012. Technological and legislative issues are also discussed in detail.

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in New York, ABI Research maintains global operations that support annual research programs, intelligence services and market reports in wireless, automotive, semiconductors, broadband, and energy. For more information please visit www.abiresearch.com, or call 516.624.2500.

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