Pike Research Points to HEVs as a Solution

As companies and governments grapple with ways to cut costs and reduce carbon emissions, their vehicle fleets represent a significant opportunity to achieve both goals, and an increasing number of fleet managers are utilizing hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) as a solution.

According to a new study from Pike Research, global hybrid fleet sales will surpass 830,000 vehicles in 2015, up from 280,000 in 2008. Next generation plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) will represent 21 percent of total hybrid fleet sales that same year.

"Hybrids provide an opportunity for fleets to become leaner and greener," says managing director Clint Wheelock. "However, one key barrier to adoption is that fleet managers' access to HEVs has been limited, as manufacturers are focused mainly on small consumer vehicles due to the prohibitive cost of larger batteries. Additionally, government incentives and tax breaks do little to stimulate adoption of commercial hybrids, due to fleet operators' heavy reliance on leasing rather than purchasing."

Pike Research anticipates that the government, university, and utility sectors will be among the most ardent early adopters of commercial hybrids. Fleets with a mix of cars and trucks, such as municipal governments, will take a particularly strong interest. Key companies to watch in this fast-developing sector include A123 Systems, Eaton Corporation, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, ISE Corporation, Johnson Controls-Saft, LG Chem, Panasonic, and Toyota.

Pike Research's study, "Hybrid Electric Vehicles for Fleet Markets," analyzes the opportunities and challenges for HEVs and PHEVs in fleet markets around the world, including light cars and trucks as well as the medium/heavy duty truck segments.

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