A new forecast published by JPMorgan predicts the global market for hybrid cars will grow more than 23-fold to 11.28 million vehicles by 2020 and will account for every one in five cars sold in the US.
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This trend toward petrol-electric vehicles will be largely influenced by stricter government regulation of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States and Europe.

In 2008, more than 480,000 hybrid vehicles were sold worldwide, although this accounts for a mere 0.7 per cent of total global sales.

If this new report is accurate, this figure is set to swell to 13.3 percent in the next 12 years, making hybrids a must-have for all manufacturers.

This figure is expected to be even greater in the United States where hybrids have become the latest must-have accessory for those who want to quietly shout their dedication to the environment - accounting for 19.4 per cent of the market by 2020.

Along with tougher emissions regulations, affordability will also play its part with the falling cost of hybrid drivetrains also expected to make a contribution to the rise.

It is estimated the unit cost of a hybrid system - including the batteries, motors and computer hardware - added around $5,667 to a vehicle's price tag in 2008.

JPMorgan expects this premium to drop to $1,890 by 2020, pricing hybrid vehicles more closely to traditional petrol-powered cars.