The Prospects for Electric/Hybrid Vehicles, 2000-2020: First-Stage Results of a Two-Stage Delphi Study 951907

A two-stage Delphi study was conducted to collect expert opinion concerning long-term (2000-2020) technical and economic attributes of electric (EV) and hybrid-electric (HEV) vehicles in comparison to conventional gasoline vehicles. The study questionnaire was divided into three parts: the first addressed vehicles; the second, vehicle components; and the third, the impact on the transportation system of electric and hybrid vehicle use. This paper reports selected results from the first round of the survey. This international survey obtained information from 191 expert respondents in the automotive-technology field. The experts' skills predominantly reflected specialization in electric drivetrain vehicles and/or components. The first-stage response provided the following key results:
  • By 2020, EVs and HEVs using internal combustion engines are projected to have approximately a 20% new-vehicle market share, costs above (but near) the 2020 gasoline car, and technical characteristics comparable to 1993 gasoline baseline cars.
  • Through 2000, EVs and HEVs are projected to have characteristics inferior to 1993 gasoline baseline passenger cars, with significantly less range, much slower acceleration, and purchase costs 50-100% more than gasoline vehicles.
  • The AC (alternating-current) induction motor is projected to be both technically and economically superior to the DC (direct-current) and DC brushless motors by 2020, but the DC motor will still be significantly less expensive in 2000, offsetting its declining technical competitiveness. DC brushless motors are projected to be the most expensive throughout the study period. Battery costs will remain high, especially for the high specific power units.
  • EVs are desirable to help reduce urban emissions; however, the costs of these vehicles must be reduced. Also, they must be “excellent products,” developed with adequate R&D support, and must be as reliable as gasoline cars in order to succeed in the marketplace.
Other results are also discussed.


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