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Experts see gains in vehicle electrification and fuel economy

According to a presentation at the recent Automotive Futures 2022 powertrain strategy conference, US automakers are making incremental progress in electrifying their fleets.

In June and July, Automotive Futures surveyed around 50 powertrain experts, including nine OEMs and 18 suppliers, about their forecasts for battery electric and hybrid vehicles.

According to previous surveys from 2006, this year’s sample of experts predicts that BEVs will account for 12% of global passenger car demand in 2025 and 25% in 2030, while hybrids will rise to 28% and 33%.

BEVs accounted for 2.9% of the US light vehicle market and about 5.8% of the global market in 2021, according to Wards Intelligence data.

Meanwhile, experts expect all categories of hybrids to gain market share globally: plug-in hybrids at 6% in 2025 and 9% in 2030, full hybrids at 10% and 13%, and mild hybrids at 9% and 10% .

They expect the share of gasoline engines to fall to 60% and 38% in 2025 and 2030, respectively.

For light commercial vehicles, respondents predict that BEV sales will increase to 8% and 18% in 2025 and 2030, respectively, with hybrids (all types) increasing to 17% and 26%. Meanwhile, the share of gasoline engines will fall to 66% in 2025 and 47% in 2030.

“Experts say it’s relatively likely that manufacturers will meet CAFE and emissions regulations with credits, but it will be difficult without credits,” said Bruce Belzowski, executive director of Automotive Futures.

Credits include “off-cycle” credits for things like high-efficiency lighting, aerodynamics, air conditioning efficiency, engine idle-stop systems, and other advanced technologies.

Looking at fleet credits and “credits earned,” a new dataset from the research group, Tesla is the clear leader with 13.8 million mg of carbon credits in 2020. Honda followed with 2.9 million and Subaru with 2.0 million.

“All other manufacturers generated credit deficits,” says Belzowski, “Stellantis was -10.2 million.”

The group is expected to issue a final report for the year in December.

Meanwhile, Belzowski says 50% of US OEMs have seen improvements in fuel economy in 2021 compared to 2020, based on preliminary EPA data. Asian brands were the leaders, with Nissan posting the largest gain and General Motors the largest decline in 2021.

Sobering is the fact that OEMs are still a long way from meeting federally mandated targets for 2026, like the Biden admin. reset in May to 59.4 mpg (3.96 L/100 km) and 132 g/mile CO2 for cars and 42.4 mpg (5.5 L/100 km) and 187 g/mile for trucks.

In 2021, according to Belzowski, Nissan reported the lowest emissions and best fuel economy (all vehicle types) at 303 g/mile and 29 mpg (8.1 L/100 km), down 8.7% and up 9 .4% from 2014 levels when Automotive Futures first began tracking the data.


Sentra S’s 29/39 mpg city/highway helps propel Nissan to the top of the EPA fuel economy rankings.

Nissan was followed by Hyundai and Honda, who took second place, followed by Subaru, Kia, Toyota and Volkswagen.

General Motors, Stellantis and Ford achieved 415, 410 and 390 g/mile and 21.5 mpg (10.9 l/100 km), 22.7 mpg (10.4 l/100 km) and 21.6 mpg ( 10.9 l/100 km). due to the greater presence of full-size SUVs and pickups in their fleets.

Although nine out of 10 OEMs – all but GM – achieved improvements in emissions over the seven years, none achieved a 10% reduction in 2021. And in fuel economy, seven OEMs – all but GM, Ford and VW – saw gains.

In the passenger car segment, Honda was the 2021 fuel economy leader (32.1 mpg [7.3 L/100 km]), Toyota (31.6 mpg [7.4 L/100 km]), Kia (31.5mpg [7.5 L/100 km]), Nissan (31.4mpg [7.5 L/100 km]) and VW (30.7 mpg (7.7 l/100 km)). The leader in terms of CO2 emissions was VW with 274 g/mile. Then followed Honda with 276, Toyota and Nissan with 280 and Kia with 281.

In the truck segment, Subaru was the leader with 8.3 l/100 km (28.3 mpg), followed by Honda with 9.0 l/100 km (26.0 mpg), Kia with 9.6 l/100 km ( 24.5 mpg) and Nissan at 24.4 mpg (9.6 l/100 km) and Toyota at 23.3 mpg (10.0 l/100 km). Emissions leader was Subaru with 313 g/mile, followed by Honda (341), Kia (362), Nissan (364) and Toyota (381).

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