Despite the rapid expansion of fully electric vehicle lineups by most automakers, industry forecasts indicate a bright future for hybrids due to some buyers’ lingering reluctance towards EVs.
While the proliferation of electric options might suggest an impending decline for hybrids, industry experts propose a different outlook. Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) offerings are anticipated to exhibit significant potential in the US market for the coming years.
S&P Global Mobility forecasts a threefold increase in hybrid sales within the next five years in the US. Their projection outlines a distribution of 24% for hybrids, 37% for battery electrics, and 40% for combustion engines and mild-hybrid alternatives by 2028. In comparison, the projected figures for 2023 indicate a 7% share for hybrids, 9% for EVs, and over 80% for the still-dominant Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles.
Surveys underline that factors such as high initial costs, limited driving range, extended charging durations, and an inadequate charging infrastructure continue to dissuade certain buyers from embracing fully electric models. Despite significant progress in addressing these concerns over recent years, the hesitancy of some consumers contributes to the slower-than-expected adoption of EVs.
The US currently boasts a portfolio of over 60 hybrid models available for purchase. Notably, Toyota and Lexus lead this domain with 18 hybrid options, followed by Hyundai and Kia with 7, Ford and Lincoln with 6, Stellantis with 3, and General Motors preparing for its inaugural hybrid release later this year. However, despite the array of choices, limited availability persists in US dealerships due to robust demand.
Citing industry projections, Reuters reports that Toyota, Ford, and Stellantis are poised to inundate the US market with “hundreds of thousands of hybrid vehicles” over the next half-decade, catering to a more conservative audience – encompassing both retail and commercial sectors. Vehicles featuring electrified gasoline engines are seemingly more palatable to consumers while also aligning with stricter emission regulations.
Toyota, often criticized for a seemingly slower EV transition despite its pioneering role and leadership in hybrid technology, will seize the opportunity presented by this affinity for hybrids. Ford, despite prior emphasis on EVs, recently unveiled its ambition to quadruple hybrid sales by 2028. Stellantis, recognizing the potential, embraces hybrids, with electrified variations accounting for 36% of Jeep Wrangler sales and 19% of Chrysler Pacifica sales. Conversely, General Motors remains resolute in achieving an all-EV lineup by 2030, showing limited interest in further hybrid development.
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