Right now in the U.S., hybrids are all the rage among drivers who want to be more green in what they drive, but it may not stay that way for much longer. New research by Ricardo and UBS is projecting that total sales of hybrid and diesel vehicles will hit 2.7 million annually by 2012, and that oil burners will account for 1.5 million of those sales. For those not good with math, the report is claiming that within five years, diesels will outsell hybrids in the U.S.

The report concludes that the added complexity of hybrid systems with their batteries, electric motors and internal combustion engines won't be able to overcome the cost advantage of a modern diesel engine, even with the expensive exhaust treatment systems needed to make diesels meet our new stricter emissions requirements.

Toyota, however, is projecting that it will achieve cost parity between hybrids and conventional drivetrains in the next few years. More likely is a scenario in which fuel efficiency and emissions requirements reach a point where diesel-hybrids become a necessity. As batteries improve and Series Hybrids like the Chevy Volt become a reality, diesels will be the likely choice as range extenders. In the short term, diesels are moving full speed ahead, at least from European manufacturers, so we'll just have to wait and see how American drivers take to them.

[Source: Ricardo]

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