Electric vehicles (EVs) may be a hot topic, but talking about them 24/7 has not helped sales. Indeed, EV sales in recent months have slowed down in such a way that leading automotive firms have rethought their strategies, leading them to drive consumer interest towards hybrid vehicles.
While this shift in messaging appears anathema to the hard-core drive toward EVs, offering hybrids is seen as a prudent course of action that could put the motoring public on the track toward a total shift to vehicles fueled with renewable power.
What are Hybrids and Why Are They Important Right Now?
Hybrids are vehicles that pair conventional internal combustion machinery with EV battery technologies. The Toyota Prius is one such vehicle, and Prius sales and those of other hybrids have outstripped those of pure EVs throughout much of this year.
Indeed, hybrids made up around 8.3% of vehicle sales in the United States throughout November 2023, around 2.8 points higher compared to the same time in 2022. That’s around 1.2 million vehicles in eleven months, and sales as of early December are also up.
Still, pure EVs made up 6.9% – 976,560 vehicles – of automotive sales over the past couple of weeks, up 1.7 percentage points from where they were last year. Plug-in hybrids, however, only made up 1% of vehicular sales in the past month.
Why Go the Hybrid Route?
Getting a hybrid car is a good way of getting someone into EVs without necessarily pushing them into a purchase they may not be ready for.
In practice, hybrids cost considerably less than most EVs and these don’t pose a problem in the event of the absence of charging stations, and, since they can be powered by conventional fuels, range anxiety is not an issue.
While Asian automakers Honda Motor, Hyundai Motor, Kia, and Toyota make up nine out of every ten hybrids sold, US automakers hope to boost their numbers before the year ends.