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Hybrid Vehicle Market Continues to Evolve

The share of hybrid and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles is expected to make gains in the coming years.
June 19, 2017

​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The U.S. market is poised to see an increased share of hybrid and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles being sold in 2017 and beyond. Although the Toyota Prius, which was the first mass-produced hybrid EV, has been around for nearly two decades, hybrid vehicles still have a very small share of the market—they made up less than 2.0% of sales in 2016.

There are a multitude of reasons for this, including, but not limited to, consumer resistance to change, higher prices for hybrid vehicles over traditional powertrains, and relatively low and stable liquid fuel prices (especially in the last couple of years). Yet despite these challenges, expect to see more hybrid vehicles being produced and purchased in the near future, especially plug-in hybrids.

From the manufacturers’ and fuels industry’s perspective, increasingly progressive CAFE standards make hybrid electric vehicles extremely attractive, while they also benefit the fuels industry because they still rely on liquid fuel. From a consumer perspective, as more hybrid and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles come to market, costs of these vehicles should come down, making them even more attractive to consumers to buy. It is no surprise, then, that hybrid vehicles will continue to evolve and make gains in the market in the years to come.

According to a soon-to-be released Fuels Institute report series, “Tomorrow’s Vehicles” (available in mid-July), plug-in hybrids are poised to increase market share of new vehicles sold from less than 0.5% of those sold in 2016 to potentially as much as 4% by 2025. Together, plug-in hybrids and traditional hybrids could account for more than 7% of new vehicles sold by that time.

To learn more about this growing trend, check out FuelsInstitute.org for a video of the Fuels Institute onsite at a recent auto show.