Hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles could stick around for longer than expected heretofore, despite the auto industry's race towards all-electric vehicles.
Ford, Toyota and Stellantis are among the top automakers planning to manufacture and sell hundreds of thousands of hybrid vehicles in the U.S. over the next five years, Reuters reported.
Hybrids are being presented by companies as a sustainable transportation choice for retail and commercial customers who want to reduce their environmental impact but don't feel ready for EVs.
Hybrids are regaining popularity as consumers fail to embrace purely electric vehicles as quickly as expected, the article noted. Respondents to industry surveys report being hesitant to invest in EVs because of their high cost, limited range, long charging times, and limited charging stations.
According to S&P Global Mobility, the number of hybrids on the road will increase significantly over the next five years, with estimates suggesting they will more than triple in number. The sales pie will be divided between pure electrics (37%) and combustion vehicles (nearly 40%), including "mild" hybrids.
This year, S&P estimates that hybrids will account for just 7% of U.S. sales, with pure electrics capturing 9%, and internal combustion engine vehicles taking over 80%.
Hybrids have traditionally accounted for less than 10% of U.S. sales, with the Toyota Prius as the leading model. The Japanese automaker has said that hybrids will be crucial to its long-term electrification plans as the automaker ramps up production of fully electric models.
Ford is also rolling out aggressive hybrid plans. In its second-quarter earnings call, Ford CEO Jim Farley announced the automaker’s plans to quadruple hybrid sales over the next five years, despite its heightened focus on all-electric vehicles.
GlobalData forecasts that Stellantis will emulate Toyota and Ford's approach by offering different powertrains, such as hybrids, to U.S. buyers until EVs become more prevalent in the mid-2020s.
GM, however, told Reuters it "continues to be committed to its all-electric future ... While we will have hybrid vehicles in our global fleet, our focus remains on transitioning our portfolio to electric by 2030.”
Reuters noted that more than 60 hybrids are currently marketed in the U.S. Toyota and Lexus offer 18 hybrid models, maintaining their dominance in the sector. Hyundai and Kia have seven, while Ford and Lincoln have six. Stellantis offers three, and GM has a hybrid version of the Chevrolet Corvette.
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today