With concern about global warming increasing with each passing day, a primary focus of governments and the automotive industry has shifted from improving fuel economy to reducing emissions. Fuel economy has become secondary. Powertrain electrification initiatives have intensified, while efforts to improve in-cylinder process and exhaust aftertreatment systems also are ongoing.

To this end, xEVs, which include mild hybrid, full hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric, and fuel cell electric vehicles, have witnessed substantial growth over the past 5 years. What is impressive is that the market downturn of the last couple of years because of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the time where xEVs have witnessed the highest growth. While internal combustion engines continue to be the leading powertrain type, electrification as a means of improving emissions and fuel economy is fast reaching the point where it becomes a necessity to meet future targets from 2025 and beyond.

This outlook examines the state of the powertrain industry in the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and many European countries for passenger cars, car- and truck-based SUVs, and pickups (all under 3.5 tons). It examines light vehicle sales by region for 2021 and further breaks down sales by powertrain type. It also delves into powertrain technology roadmaps through 2030 and offers a glimpse of upcoming motor solutions. Growth opportunities that would be of interest to all stakeholders are considered.