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Plugged in: hybrid e-cars to attract greatest demand by 2019

Plugged-in hybrids will be the most sought-after e-vehicles by 2019, according to KPMG’s annual auto survey. Technology leadership will dictate the survival of car-makers in the turbulent auto industry, it claims.

Plug-in vehicles are expected to attract the greatest demand of any e-vehicle in all markets, the report said. Fuel cell vehicles are also experiencing a rise in popularity, with 69pc of car-makers considering this technology as critical to future growth.

“Continuing consumer concern with fuel efficiency and pollution is urging auto-makers to focus on plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell technologies for the near future,” said Mathieu Meyer, global head of Automotive and a partner with KPMG in Germany.

“Since the development of e-vehicle technology takes time, in parallel, auto-makers are also maintaining a strong grasp on downsizing the internal combustion engine to meet the needs of the current marketplace.”

Despite confidence in plug-in vehicles, the majority of investment from auto-makers will continue to be in downsizing conventional engines, which could slow down advances in e-vehicles.

Seventy-six per cent of respondents say that engine downsizing and optimisation is a key issue, compared to just 59pc for battery-powered technologies.
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