Future of hybrids questioned as EVs advance

October 20, 2016

Hybrid cars are likely to be a ‘passing phase’ as they will be surpassed by electric vehicles (EVs) in a matter of a few years, according to UK valuations service Glass’s. Director of valuations Rupert Pontin believes that EV technology is advancing so quickly that a new hybrid vehicle being bought today could effectively be obsolete by the time it reaches the end of its normal life.  

He argues that models such as the new Renault Zoe with its predicted range of more than 400km and the new BMW i3 are resolving range anxiety issues that have previously deterred buyers.  

‘[These] vehicles effectively remove the rationale for hybrids. Within a few years, hybrids could be seen as little more than a curiosity and this will undoubtedly affect their values,he said.  

Pontin says that while hybrids are increasingly popular because of their low tax liability as a new car,  they make less sense as a used purchase as they have a short electric-only range.  

He argues that as EVs start to become available in larger numbers, customers are more likely to opt for them over a hybrid if they want emission-free motoring.  

‘Unless manufacturers find it difficult to bring down the price of EVs, then hybrids will simply be seen as a passing phase in the history of the car,’ he added. In the UK, for the year to the end of Q3 2016, sales of pure electric cars grew to 8,107 units compared to 6,951 in the same period in 2015. Over the same period, registrations of hybrids, including plug-in hybrids, grew from 49,326 units to 61,845.

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March 31, 2017

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