Hybrid cars are back on track

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The Future. The EV revolution isn’t turning out to be as radical as automakers and policymakers had hoped — which is turning attention back to hybrids as a necessary middle ground for reducing tailpipe emissions and meeting customer demand. With ambitious environmental targets coming within the next decade, car companies may transition all gas-powered fleets to hybrids as a baseline for market competitiveness.

EV pit stop
Hybrids are picking up the pace as EV adoption hits some roadblocks.

  • Hybrid sales were up 65% last year, while EVs were up about 46% — with sales hitting roughly 1.2 million each in the US.
  • That gave hybrids 8% of the automotive market, up from 5.5% in 2022.
  • And when plug-in hybrids are counted, one in 10 new cars pairs a gasoline engine with electric motors to save fuel and boost performance, per NYT.

The two biggest reasons for the hybrid bump are their lower price tag (the average hybrid cost is $42,500, while an EV’s is $60,500), as well as consumer anxiety around charging logistics (renters and urbanites who don’t own houses, especially).

The hybrid success has been a major boon for Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and Kia, which collectively make up 90% of American hybrid sales. Meanwhile, GM, Ford, Volkswagen, and many others are already pulling back on their ambitious EV sales targets and reconsidering how hybrids may actually be a quicker path to their overall sustainability goals.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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