Hybrid vehicle technology will continue to improve and claim a larger share of the electric drive industry's automotive market in 2004, according to key industry players, stakeholders, and spectators who responded to "Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Progress" magazine’s annual "Looking Ahead" survey. Editor Layne Holley provided the following survey highlights on December 18: Gasoline-electric hybrids (HEV) are expected to dominate in small and large passenger car applications. Diesel-electric hybrids, however, are expected to follow in a not-too-distant second in this segment, gaining prevalence over their gasoline counterparts in the industrial equipment and medium- and heavy-duty segments. Across all applications, survey participants agree that hybrids of some type will achieve significant takeover — even in the battery electric-dominated (BEV) niche of low-speed vehicles, also know as neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs). Battery-only technology will remain shut out or lose share in some segments. Fuel cell propulsion (FCV) is still quite a distance into the future, so it isn't expected to have a significant share of any segment within the year — or for several years out, for that matter, according to statements from participants. The full text of the survey report, including additional data on the future of HEVs, BEVs and FCVs appears in the January 2004 issue of "Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Progress."

Originally posted on Fleet Financials