Tesla Inc and Ford Motor Co have been known as manufacturers driving sales of all-electric vehicles, while Asian automakers are increasing their lineup of hybrid vehicles. Many buyers still avoid fully electric vehicles (EVs) because of their higher prices, limited driving range, or lack of charging stations.
In 2021, US sales of hybrid vehicles jumped 76 percent to 801,550, accounting for 5 percent of US light vehicle sales, according to data from analytics firm Wards Intelligence.
Meanwhile EV sales also jumped 83 percent to 434,879, but only represented 3 percent of overall sales in the US market.
Toyota Motor Corp. recorded record hybrid car sales for the US market, helping to overtake General Motors Co. as the best-selling US automaker by 2021.
Toyota increased sales of hybrids, plug-ins and fuel cells by 73 percent to 583,697, with the majority coming from hybrids. GM sold less than 25,000 electric vehicles, as it recalled the Bolt EV following the risk of a battery fire.
“Hybrids offer a very attractive blend of fuel economy performance without some of the major drawbacks of electric vehicles,” said Brett Smith, director of technology at the Center for Automotive Research.
Pure EVs run on electricity only and require a charging infrastructure, whereas hybrid EVs combine a conventional combustion engine with an electric propulsion system.
Honda Motor Co., the No. 2 in the United States, also boosted hybrid sales by 67 percent compared to 2020 to a record 107,060 last year.