Machine Design

Demand for hybrid vehicles climbing

Worldwide demand for hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) will grow to 3.9 million units in 2015 then nearly double in number by 2020, according to a study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based market research firm.

Rising energy costs, erratic fuel prices, and stricter emissions regulations will fuel demand.

The cost difference between HEVs and conventional vehicles — estimated at between $1,000 and $3,000 — should decline as production volume rises, the study reports. The U.S., Western Europe, and Japan will remain the primary markets for HEVs, although the growing Chinese market should experience strong demand.

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