Future P2 hybrids developed by BMW, Nissan, Hyundai, Mercedes and Volkswagen could lead to cheaper hybrids in the near future.
P2 stands for parallel-clutch hybrid, and it allows for hybrids with a single electric motor to independently power the wheels. The second clutch separates the operation of the engine and electric motor from the transmission. meaning either the engine or motor can work independently. Some hybrids use a clutch already like from Honda, and others use two electric motors to achieve the same goal. The parallel clutch system gives 95% of the benefits of two electric motors while reducing a third of the cost and significant weight. The P2 system allows auto makers to use regular transmissions as well.
There are two cars already available that use P2 hybrid systems: the Hyundai Sonata and Infiniti M35h.
John German of the International Council on Clean Transportation believes that P2 hybrids could have 70% market penetration by 2030.
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