How Long Until All Cars Are Hybrids?

By dancurranjr On October 1st, 2008

Imagine waking up one morning and finding that the only cars on the roads, in the parking lots and nestled in driveways were hybrids or electrics.

CNW Marketing Research put pencil to paper — actually, it turned on its battery-powered calculator — to determine when the U.S. would be totally hybridized and could thumb its nose at Middle Eastern powers who would be forced to hold garage sales to make a few bucks rather than sell a few barrels of oil..

Based on the number of people living in the U.S. today (300 million), the number of vehicles on U.S. roads today (242 million), the annual scrappage rate (11 million), the number of new vehicles sold each year (15 million), and the number of those new vehicles that are hybrids, CNW concluded that 26 years from now, in 2034, there will be:

  • 357 million people
  • 381 million vehicles, all electric or hybrid
  • 15.7 million vehicles scrapped
  • 18.1 new vehicles sold, all electric or hybrid

CNW also concluded that hybrids won’t reach 1 million new vehicles sold annually until 2013, won’t reach 10% of all new vehicles sold until 2014, won’t reach 50% of all vehicles sold until 2024 and won’t reach 10 million unit sales annually until 2026.

“The timetable seems very long and extreme, but it’s not unreasonable because it means not only every vehicle built and sold would be a hybrid, but every vehicle now on the road would have to be replaced by a hybrid,” said Rebecca Lindland, director of industry research for Global Insight.

Lindland noted that when the economy is weak, consumers hang on to their older cars longer, and many people buy used cars rather than new, which would also delay the day when hybrids are in total control.

Another factor to consider is that while gas price spikes boost interest in hybrids, gas price declines cool demand.

“Going all hybrid also assumes a commitment by consumers to spend the extra hundreds, if not thousands, on those vehicles, and no one knows how long that may take,” Lindland said.

On a more optimistic note, CNW estimates that if every vehicle produced and sold starting this year were a hybrid, it would only take 17 years for hybrids to replace every vehicle now on the road.

Source: Kicking Tires

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