Industry touts hybrid as an important transition technology

Hybrids may have a limited shelf life, but they will remain useful for years to come. By Freddie Holmes

Special report: Light vehicle powertrain mix

Regulators have made their intentions clear: the internal combustion engine (ICE) is on its way out, regardless of whether clean fuels become widely available. The industry is heading in the direction of battery electric powertrains, and in some limited cases hydrogen fuel cells. Either way, zero emissions powertrains will rule the roost for the next century in place of the ICE.

Authorities, consumers and industry stakeholders are all aware of this transition. With that as a backdrop, what is the outlook for hybrid powertrains, which sit somewhere in the middle of the present and the future? Some manufacturers have framed hybrid powertrains as more than just an interim solution, while others have largely skipped the technology to focus on going fully electric.

Testing the waters

For many consumers today, a partially electrified powertrain remains attractive. In Europe, hybrid cars accounted for

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