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Record Sales Of Hybrid Electric Cars In The United States In 2021

Record Sales Of Hybrid Electric Cars In The United States In 2021
While pure electric cars are generating headlines, industry data shows that their gasoline-electric hybrid counterparts had quietly reached record sales in the United States last year.
While auto companies such as Tesla Inc. and Ford Motor Co. promoted electric vehicle sales, Asian manufacturers strengthened hybrid car lineups, as many customers continue to avoid EVs owing to higher prices, restricted driving range, or a shortage of charging stations.
Data from analytics firm Wards Intelligence suggests that hybrid car sales in the United States increased by 76 per cent to 801,550 vehicles last year, which accounted for about 5 per cent of all light vehicles that were sold in the country last year.
EV sales increased by 83 per cent to 434,879 units, but only accounted for 3 per cent of the total market.
Toyota Motor Corp set a new record for the sale of hybrid cars in the United States last year, helping the Japanese manufacturer surpass General Motors Co as the country's top seller for the year.
Toyota increased sales of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and fuel cells by 73 per cent to 583,697, with hybrids accounting for the majority of the increase. Because the Bolt EVs were recalled owing to battery fire hazards, GM managed to sell fewer than 25,000 electric vehicles.
"Hybrids offer a really intriguing mix of fuel economy performance without some of the huge drawbacks that electric vehicles present," Brett Smith, technology director at Center for Automotive Research, said.
Hybrid EVs combines a conventional combustion engine with an electric propulsion system, while pure EVs run solely on electricity and require charging infrastructure.
Honda Motor Co., the country's second-largest hybrid automaker, increased hybrid sales by 67 percent from 2020 to a new high of 107,060 last year.
"We hope to increase our hybrid sales of our core products, CR-V and Accord, substantially in the coming years as we prepare for battery electric vehicles," Dave Gardner, executive vice president at Honda, told the media.
Honda, which expects to release its first electric vehicle in the United States in 2024, predicted that the industry would take off as a result of a flood of new model launches by automakers and legislative backing from the Biden administration.
"It is just a matter of time, but I think consumer acceptance, it's going to take a while to catch up to," Gardner said.
Hyundai Motor Co. sees hybrids and plug-in hybrids as "enablers" that will assist speed sales of battery electric vehicles, according to Jose Munoz, the company's global chief operating officer.
"Some of our competitors, they jump directly into the battery EV only ... We still see many consumers that are hesitant when it comes to getting into battery EV only," he said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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