Hybrid Vehicle Interest Grows in US Playing Role in EV Transition

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Hybrid vehicles are not fading away as quickly as anticipated in the rush towards all-electric cars in the automotive industry. Ford, along with Toyota and Stellantis, plans to produce and sell hundreds of thousands of hybrid vehicles in the United States over the next five years, according to industry experts.

These automakers are promoting hybrids as an option for both retail and commercial customers who seek more sustainable transportation but aren’t ready to fully embrace electric vehicles. The rationale is that hybrids offer a middle ground, attracting a wider customer base.

Interest in hybrids is resurging because pure electric vehicles haven’t seen the rapid adoption expected. High initial costs, concerns about range, long charging times, and a lack of charging infrastructure have contributed to this slower EV adoption.

With stricter emissions regulations, hybrids provide a cleaner alternative without demanding an immediate transition to pure electric vehicles. Market analysts predict that hybrids will more than triple over the next five years, accounting for 24% of new vehicle sales in the US by 2028. Meanwhile, pure electric vehicles are projected to capture about 37%, leaving conventional combustion vehicles with nearly 40% of the market share.

Historically, hybrids have made up less than 10% of total US sales, with Toyota’s Prius being a popular model. Toyota continues to view hybrids as a crucial part of its long-term electrification strategy.

Ford has recently announced ambitious plans to quadruple its hybrid sales over the next five years. General Motors appears less inclined towards hybrids in the US, while Stellantis plans to offer a variety of powertrains, including hybrids, until pure electric vehicle sales pick up.

Manufacturers are introducing over 60 hybrid models in the US this year. Toyota leads with 18 hybrid models, while Hyundai, Kia, Ford, and Lincoln offer a range of options as well. Despite this variety, hybrids remain in short supply at many dealerships across the country.

The consensus among industry experts is that hybrids serve as a bridge between traditional combustion vehicles and the eventual widespread adoption of electric vehicles. As the charging infrastructure for electric cars matures, the shift towards fully electric transportation is expected to gain momentum.

Source: Reuters


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