Hybrid electric vehicle is a combination of internal combustion engine and electric propulsion system. The electric propulsion system helps achieve either better performance or better fuel economy. There are various types of hybrid electric vehicles available in the market; hybrid electric cars is the most common type. Modern hybrid electric vehicles use regenerative brakes, a type of efficiency-improving technology, which convert kinetic energy into electric energy to recharge the batteries.
The global hybrid electric vehicle market can be segmented into powertrain type, hybrid level, vehicle type, and region.
Based on powertrain type, the market can be classified into series, parallel, and series-parallel. A series powertrain hybrid electric vehicle is akin to a battery electric vehicle in design, wherein a combustion engine powers an electric generator instead of driving the wheels. The generator charges the battery and powers the electric motor which drives the vehicle. Series powertrain hybrid electric vehicles are also known as range-extended electric vehicles (REEVs), since the internal combustion engine is used to power electric motor and does not directly drive the wheels. A parallel powertrain hybrid electric vehicle is propelled by an electric motor connected to a mechanical transmission as well as an internal combustion engine.
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In terms of hybrid level, the hybrid electric vehicle market can be divided into micro, mild, full, and plug-in. A micro hybrid electric vehicle is integrated with an alternator/ starter that employs start/stop technology. Its typical fuel efficiency is around 10% as compared to non-hybrid vehicles. Mild hybrid electric vehicle is integrated with stronger electric components as compared to micro hybrid electric vehicles and has fuel efficiency of around 20% to 25%. Full hybrid electric vehicle is similar to mild hybrid electric vehicle; however, it is equipped with a larger alternator, electric motor, battery pack, and has around 40% to 45% fuel efficiency. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is more suitable for short trips.
In terms of region, the hybrid electric vehicles market can be divided into North America, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. North America holds major market share followed by Europe. New fuel emission regulations and increase in per capita income are projected to boost the hybrid electric vehicles market in these regions. However, the market in Asia Pacific is estimated to expand at a significant pace during the forecast.
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Key players operating in the hybrid electric vehicle market are Ford Motor Company, Toyota, Honda Motor Company, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, BMW AG, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, Hyundai Motor Company, General Motors, Porsche, and Volkswagen.