Industry Study: Hybridization to be Norm By 2020

“All vehicles in 2020 will have some level of hybridization.” The statement is blunt and to the point. It might be dismissed as idle speculation until you see the source. To come to this conclusion, the IBM Institute for Business Value interviewed 125 executives in 15 countries, from automotive OEMs, suppliers, and other thought leaders. Eight-five percent of the top auto companies worldwide—including all of the top 10—participated in the study, “Automotive 2020: Clarity Beyond the Chaos.”

The statement that all cars will be hybrids in a little more than a decade is no guarantee—but it clearly reflects the priorities of the automotive industry and is therefore a better prediction of what to expect. The report also found that “sustainability” concerns would drive investments, product categories, and performance well into the next decades.

The report characterized the vehicle of 2020 as one moving toward electrification with micro, mild, and full hybrids leading the way. Micro-hybrids with stop-start capability and regenerative breaking hold the potential to make sizable contributions to carbon emission reduction and lower fossil fuel consumption, according to the study. The report estimated that micro-hybrids could reduce carbon emissions by 10 percent, and produce up to 13 percent better fuel economy.

The number of vehicles with mild hybrid systems—designed to assist a vehicle rather than propel it forward by electric power alone—is expected to grow, according to the study’s interview subjects. Full hybrids are also expected to continue to increase in popularity, with alternative financing models leading to more affordability and wider acceptance of the technology.

“Rarely has an industry confronted the multi-dimensional change the auto industry faces today,” said Sanjay Rishi, the primary author of the study. “As it races toward 2020, the industry must learn to effectively manage the global resources it has put in place, respond to increasing demands for environmental accountability and use the technology at its disposal to transform the way it develops products and goes to market.”


  • Bryce

    Interesting. I envision stop-start 4 bangers standard on all cars in the future. Coupled with li-ion bat packs instead of the current ones, they could be the size of a normal battery in a car today hopefully and maybe even produce a little more power. : ) Sounds good to me.

  • Shines

    When you look at the difference between city and highway mileage it makes sense to have at least stop start hybrid technology in most vehicles.

  • Skeptic

    “Regenerative breaking”, eh? Must be a GM thing.

    This study assumes that sufficient affordable liquid fuel will be available in 12 years. Not a bet I’d make.

  • Bryce

    thats true, highway mpg does seem to benefit more from mild hybrids than full. City definetly favors full hybrid though given all the extra acceleration.

  • Hal Howell

    I get better mileage on the highway in my Prius than I do in the city. I drove nearly 300 miles at 65 mph and got 54.7 mpg! At 55 I nearly get 46 to 47 mpg.
    As for gasoline it is true that we may have reached all of the easy to get oil but its NOT true we are running out of oil. We have the resources if Congress would get out of the way and let the oil companies do their job! We have been lied to by the politicians. The oil companies are not our enemies. They are simply companies bringing to market a needed product. Since they are practically forbidden to utilize our own resources they have to get oil from the world market. That means paying the price the world sets. Don’t like it? Then press Congress to Drill Here, Drill Now!! There is no reason for this country to be dependent on foreign oil! The oil companies are not gouging us. That’s just more pandering of some politicians. The oil companies have about a 7% profit margin which is much less than many companies. So what if the make a profit? They’re not in the business for charity! They have to make some kind of profit to stay in business. If they fail we as a country will fail. That’s how important they are. So quite buying into Pelosi’s and Reid’s pandering arguments. The liberals want to make it look like the Oil Companies who are at fault when it is in reality their fault as well as the environmental lobbyists who support them. The only thing holding back America is STUPIDITY!!!

  • Bryce

    Interesting point of view and not altogether untrue. This forum however may not be particularly receptive to that message. lol I would agree that congress has indeed been pandering for politics and either doesn’t understand economics or has chosen to ignore it to garner a few votes. It is sad, but hopefully the opposition for the legislature will cool down given another administration. Honestly, no matter who wins, I forsee a pretty solid energy agenda being put forward that could be hashed out between the parties. The current political environment before November is just to argue against the other side, even if it is a reasonable proposition.

    What are ya gunna do???

    Ride it out, that’s what.

  • chukcha

    Hmm to drill here or to drill there? What about not drilling at all?
    We don’t need to drill anything anywhere, because we have wind energy. The energy just from the wind is enough to power all north America many times over. We don’t even need nuclear power. All we have to do is to build wind turbines all over the place an we’re will be fine. A wind power generator costs about 1 million now and works for at least 20 years. As we build more of them prices will fall. We still need oil but NOT to propel our cars and trucks for G-d’s sake! What a waste of oil!
    Since Wind turbines are a distributed system we don’t have to worry that someone will sabotage a centralized power plant and leave millions without power. To compensate for unpredictable wind patterns we can use geothermal and sea wave power. Infrared gathering solar panels can now collect energy even at night! What more do you need to convince the oil companies to invest in an unlimited potential of wind, solar and geothermal energy? As to the congress, the government leaders should stop taking bribes from the oil companies. For that we need strong leaders.

  • chukcha

    Deep water well in the Gulf of Mexico can cost over $100 million each. So why not build 100 advanced wind turbines in proper locations instead? Build wind turbines in stead of oil pumps. Simple.

  • Bill M.

    I agree with the majority of what Hal Howell said and laud him for driving a Prius to get the best use out of whatever petroleum we have. I agree more drilling offshore is a good thing. What I have doubts about is how much effect that will really have on prices in either the long or short term. It would be good to have sources not originating in volatile places (no hydrocarbon pun intended). But oil is a global market and just as Americans don’t have to rely solely on foreign sources…well foreigners don’t have to rely on foreign sources either. Domestic oil may or may not be sold abroad by our multiinational oil companies but the global market will still affect the price we pay in America for American oil.

    Bryce is right too. We will ride it out, this oil situation will not kill us.

  • chukcha

    Hmm looks like people just don’t want to understand that we don’t need to drill for oil anymore; especially offshore. It is more expensive to drill and be dependent on oil than to move away from oil.

    Bill M. Why do you think that drilling offshore is a good thing? What are your reasons for it? (Please don’t tell that’s because you heard it on TV)

  • cj

    Hal Howell sounds more like Thurston Howell III of Gilligan’s Island fame. Thurston seems to think that only the rich count and the rest of us can go to hell along with the planet’s ecosystem. There really isn’t enough offshore oil available to put a dent in the amount this country uses. It would take at least ten years to bring it online anyway so why risk the inevitable ecological damage that increased offshore drilling would cause. Speaking of the environment, CO2 production from internal combustion engines is the main cause of the climate change that the world is currently experiencing. Thurston is correct about one thing, however, even though Exxon-Mobile continues to set record profits every quarter (and yes they are gouging us) it’s the oil producing countries such as Saudi Arabia that rake in the lions share of the money. Thurston is also correct that stupidity is holding America back; the stupidity of keeping on doing the same old destructive things the same old wasteful way that we’ve been doing them. First generation biofuel produced from corn is not the answer either. For a whole host of reasons this fixation on ethanol is just as dumb as continuing our petroleum addiction. Hybrids powered by third generation algae fuel and next generation Li-on batteries needs to be the next step out of the hole that we’ve dug ourselves into.

  • chukcha

    CJ says:
    “CO2 production from internal combustion engines is the main cause of the climate change that the world is currently experiencing.”

    This is wrong.
    Only 20% of CO2 comes from transportation! The rest come from factories, coal, and other sources.

  • sean

    Wind energy is good. Solar is good as well. Deserts should be good places for solar power stations. Only need the transmission lines to the grid.

  • Bryce

    O yea, those wind turbines are a great idea, but that won’t address transportation needs sadly, unless of course, the majority of automobiles switch to PHEV vehicles in the near future. That would be beautiful, but it is some time away. Gas is probably a part of our lives for atleast the near future, so I figure some limited drilling would be ok, just releaving prices at the pump for those lower income families of America. There is no point in them suffering while the nation is “greened” up.

    As for those oil wells costing $100 million, that number is way too low. Those things can cost upwards to a couple billion for the really big ones. Give your wind a little more credit.

    Wind is greatly expanding in Texas and California though. It should be interesting.

  • Bryce

    O yea, and that is true that transportation is not actuallu the largest source of emmisions. The majority actually comes from trees that are cut down and then subsequently burned or deteriorate. The other large emitors are factories, power plants, and cows. (yes cows, methane is actually a worse compound in terms of global warming than CO2 could ever be.)

    Ethanol can be a temporary stop gap between the full elecctrification of the vehicle because the CO2 emitted by this fuel does not come from beneath the earth where old carbon has been stored and hidden away for eons. The carbon from ethanol, whether it be corn, sugar, or any cellulose from a plant matter is going to deeriorate or be eaten anyways. Same difference either way.

  • chukcha

    Bryce,
    Ethanol for fuel is potentially a deadly mistake for us. The world population is growing very fast. Food shortages are already here. The mith of ethanol as “green” energy source could cost millions of lives in the next decades. I think this ethanol scam was proposed by some auto manufacturers in order not to switch to electric engines right away.
    Don’t get me wrong, ethanol is fine and has its uses, but we cannot switch our transportation fuel to it. Don’t forget that crops require fresh water and LOTS of it. Water, believe it or not, is getting more and more scarce and expensive to desalinate. Desalination is a very heavy CO2 producing process. The amount of crops that you need to have to grow just for fuel is staggering and the amount of water that u need for those crops is at least staggering x 10. It’s too hard on the wallet and way too hard on the earth.
    As you’ve noticed in my comments I have a very down to earth and practical approach to life. I’m not the one who blindly fights for earth without thinking about the business aspect of it.
    Ethanol as a petrol replacement, my friend, doesn’t make business sense. (To me at least.)

    …”so I figure some limited drilling would be ok, just releaving prices at the pump for those lower income families of America. There is no point in them suffering while the nation is “greened” up.”

    Absolutely not. Drilling for more oil here in north America wouldn’t make a dent in the price of gas. The drilling companies would want to recoup the price of development of drilling platforms and that would just negate any savings you get. Plus, cheap GAS = more consumption. (more SUVs etc…) That means you fall in to the trap again.
    It’s like someone who is quitting smoking says “I’ll just smoke one little sigarette. One sigarette wouldn’t do anything to me…”
    Guess what’s next? that person would continue to smoke… He would fall in to the nicotine trap… Just as we would fall in to the oil trap if we continue to develop oil infrastructure instead of the much needed renewable energy infrastructure.

  • Skeptic

    Ah, the Drill Here, Drill Now battalions have arrived! Thank goodness.

    One thing, though: In ten years, when the US is importing more oil than it is today (raw numbers and as a percentage), and it costs 5x as much, and an additional 20000 US soldiers have died in Iran, will you all agree to, I don’t know, become vegans?

    I think that’d be a good bargain.

    Or maybe never vote again. That might be better.

    Idiots.

  • Bryce

    Well indeed traditional ethanol would be detrimental to food supplies, however most ethanol plants popping up now are cellulosic plants that can produce the fuel from any bio matter. Anything plant matter would do. Saw dust, weeds, cactus. Any waste plant material would do. What we would need specially grown we could do with water conserving plants. (hell, we could use cannabis….lol)

    And yes I know you are practical Chuckya, I won’t forget that. : )

    As for not drilling here…….is it ok to get the oil somewhere else then, say Canada, Mexico, or the gulf of Mexico, or are u simply not on board for any new drilling???

  • steved28

    With regard to ethanol and food. No matter what happens, the world can only sustain so many people. It seems to me, a country that can not feed it’s people should, I don’t know, promote birth control?

  • Bryce

    Well, we feed our people and a ton of people around the world plus we have a pretty consistant birth rates……so I guess we are fine. Sadly, birth control in areas like Africa where food production is a big problem isn’t very popular. However an investment into their agriculture industries might give good returns. (that’s assuming a fresh civil war of some sort doesn’t suddenly start)

    O and by the way, you could the entire worlds population into Texas with the population density of New York. There is no such thing as overpopulation.

  • ex-EV1 driver

    “O yea, those wind turbines are a great idea, but that won’t address transportation needs”
    This is only because you refuse to let go of the idea that automobiles must be powered by liquid fuel. If we’d could just get full hybrids on the road that can run 100% off of electricity, even for short distances (but at full capability), then wind and solar power could address our transportation needs.
    The only barrier to PHEV’s is attitude. Hopefully GM, Tesla, and maybe a few others will persist on their current tracks and offer us a PHEV. Today, the auto manufacturers, almost as a block, are trying to water down the first generation of PHEV so that it must have the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) running in order to actually go anywhere. While this helps reduce our dependence on oil, it does not allow us to end the dependence.

  • Bryce

    I am all for PHEVs (I love the idea of the Volt, and even the cityZENN) but I don’t think every car on the road is going to be one of these in ten years. The change will be gradual because early on the technology will be a little more pricey. The combustion engine has a hundred years of development over them and it has been price omptimized to the max. Hopefully electrics will be just as competitive in short order. : )