Of the 1.3 million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PEVs) expected to be sold between 2010 and 2015 – with nearly 400,000 PEVs expected to be sold annually by the end of that forecast period – some 80% will be passenger cars, according to a report from consulting firm Pike Research.
While small sport utility vehicles (SUVs) will also be an important segment, their adoption will lag significantly behind passenger cars, noted Dave Hurst, a senior analyst with Pike, with “early adopters” for fleet PEVs including operations that have local, predictable routes such as delivery vehicles and taxis.
“Over the next few years, corporations and governments will be highly focused on improving the efficiency of their vehicle fleets,” he added. “While traditional hybrid electric vehicles will continue to play an important role, with the twin goals of reducing lifetime operating expenses as well as lowering emissions from their vehicles, fleet managers will increasingly turn to PEVs as a solution.”
In Pike’s study, “Hybrid Electric Vehicles for Fleet Markets,” Hurst pointed out that fleet managers will be drawn to the fuel efficiency benefits of PEVs, in many cases to satisfy requirements to reduce overall fleet emissions.
“Tax incentives are also a powerful motivator to some fleet operators,” he added. “However, others will not factor this into the equation either because they do not qualify or because the tax incentive is not put back into their budget.”