A vehicle that utilizes two or more different fuel sources to operate and to move the vehicle is known as a hybrid vehicle. Such term is often referred to the electric hybrid vehicles, which merge one or more electric motors to an internal combustion (IC) engine. There are also other several mechanisms to utilize the captured energy such as human–hybrid (human-electric) vehicles. These vehicles are environmentally friendly and are being promoted by automobile & automotive manufacturers and local governments.
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Hybrid vehicles are often powered by a number of sources such as solid combustibles, human powered, CNG, LNG, hydrogen, electricity, electromagnetic fields, petrol, diesel wind and solar power. These vehicles are designed according to the power source and its availability. Light duty vehicles are mainly used for city transport of as a personal vehicle. Current hybrid light duty vehicle designs are an extension of electric vehicles. In current development stage electric powered vehicles don’t provide long run in a single charge. Similarly, bio-fuel powered vehicles have constrained of power output. Light duty hybrid vehicles provide an advantage over these problems and provide more power as well as a good range in single go.
There are various design modifications of hybrid vehicles such as light duty and heavy duty. Light duty vehicles are further classified as hatchback cars, bikes and others. According to the technology, light duty hybrid vehicles can further be classified as human-electric powered vehicles, petroleum-electric powered vehicles, bio-fuel-petroleum powered vehicles and others. These vehicles are becoming a trend in the North America and Europe industry. Thus, North America and Europe automotive industries are leading in the light duty hybrid vehicle market. However, considering the future possibility of cost reduction in this market, Asia Pacific and RoW are likely to capture a considerable market share in light duty hybrid vehicle market.
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One of the major driving factors of this market is growing awareness regarding the use of emission free vehicles. However, current green powered vehicle designs don’t allow producing the same power as that of petroleum powered. Thus, such factors are creating the need of hybrid vehicles in the light duty applications. Nevertheless, government initiatives, incentive schemes and subsidies to promote less polluting vehicles are also propelling the market. Conversely, higher cost of manufacturing, unavailability of spare parts globally and market domination by petroleum powered vehicles are holding back the market in some areas. The market has been in a growing phase yet and is likely to widen up the opportunities in the forecast period.