Eichenberg expects the switch to EVs will pick up steam over the next decade as China, the European Union, India and other countries consider mandates that would encourage them.
By 2030, global production of full EVs is expected to total 21.1 million vehicles, up from an estimated 1 million this year, according to Eichenberg. Production of plug-in hybrids and conventional hybrids is likely to hit 7.8 million vehicles by 2030.
But all is not lost for traditional powertrain suppliers, Eichenberg notes. He forecasts 2030 production of 29.2 million mild-hybrid vehicles — meaning cars and trucks that are powered by internal combustion engines equipped with 48-volt electrical systems. Those vehicles could accommodate stop-start systems, regenerative brakes and other energy-saving devices, spelling opportunity for suppliers that are agile enough to exploit the trend.
Mild hybrids will feature three- and four-cylinder engines that require turbochargers. Garrett, the world's largest turbo producer, is targeting that segment.
Likewise, Continental is marketing starter generators, AC/DC converters and other components for 48-volt systems.
But in the long run, fully electric vehicles will dominate global markets, Eichenberg warns. The industry is developing cheaper batteries with better range, theoretically eliminating the need for the costly dual powertrain configuration of hybrids.
Full EVs also will get a lift if countries ban or limit internal combustion engines. China, for example, has hinted that it might ban the sale of internal combustion engines by 2030.
"When you look at China's EV regulations, that is the driver" for the transition to EVs, Eichenberg said.
Norway wants to phase out sales of internal combustion engines by 2025. India and the Netherlands have proposed a sales ban by 2030, while France and the United Kingdom want to do so in 2040. China has not announced a phaseout, although it has floated some trial balloons.
But whether those countries will carry through on their bans remains to be seen.