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Foresighting report: electric and hybrid electric vehicles


This paper examines the key issues affecting the market for Electric Vehicles (EVs) & Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) and the novel technologies being developed to address their current drawbacks.


This study draws on existing research and data on EVs and HEVs from within the industry.


The report finds that sustained and explosive market growth by these alternative vehicles is forecast over the next ten years (and beyond), once key technological barriers are removed. These primarily relate to the poor performance of existing battery designs, but generically, EVs and HEVs need to address the following challenges before their mass production can be realised: range extension; capital cost reductions; operating life improvement; and performance improvements. In addition to barriers to market entry, a number of key drivers were also identified, including: national and international regulations; tax incentives; government grants; technological improvements; competitive pressures; and increasing environmental awareness. The report argues that levels and speed of market penetration by new technology in the car industry is driven by the degree of consumer demand, combined with the level of political will. Three key areas where opportunity exists for innovation to address the challenges are identified: energy storage, management and recovery; motors and generators; and power electronics. Although EVs and HEVs are a relatively new phenomenon, it is suggested that there are a number of well established markets for many of the electronic components used in them, which should provide an additional impetus for technological improvements and cost savings.


There were no recommendations as this was not within the remit of the report.

Author ITI Energy
Published Year 2010
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies, Energy