The Prospects for Hybrid Electric Vehicles, 2005-2020: Results of a Delphi Study 1999-01-2942
The introduction of Toyota's hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), the Prius, in Japan has generated considerable interest in HEV technology among U.S. automotive experts. In a follow-up survey to Argonne National Laboratory's two-stage Delphi Study on electric and hybrid electric vehicles (EVs and HEVs) during 1994-1996, Argonne researchers gathered the latest opinions of automotive experts on the future “top-selling” HEV attributes and costs. The experts predicted that HEVs would have a spark-ignition gasoline engine as a power plant in 2005 and a fuel cell power plant by 2020. The projected 2020 fuel shares were about equal for gasoline and hydrogen, with methanol a distant third. In 2020, HEVs are predicted to have series-drive, moderate battery-alone range and cost significantly more than conventional vehicles (CVs). The HEV is projected to cost 66% more than a $20,000 CV initially and 33% more by 2020. Survey respondents view batteries as the component that contributes the most to the HEV cost increment. The mean projection for battery-alone range is 49 km in 2005, 70 km in 2010, and 92 km in 2020. Responding to a question relating to their personal vision of the most desirable HEV and its likely characteristics when introduced in the U.S. market in the next decade, the experts predicted their “vision” HEV to have attributes very similar to those of the “top-selling” HEV. However, the “vision” HEV would cost significantly less. The experts projected attributes of three leading batteries for HEVs and projected acceleration times on battery power alone. The resulting battery packs are evaluated, and their initial and replacement costs are analyzed. These and several other opinions are summarized.