Hybrid sales climbed dramatically in 2023

Electric vehicles have been getting plenty of attention in recent years, but hybrids are having a moment, seeing significant growth in 2023 and reaching a new sales milestone. While they still rely on gas, hybrids are much more fuel-efficient than ICE-only vehicles and emit much fewer emissions.

Energy.gov’s most recent fact of the week shows that hybrid sales grew 53 percent in 2023 after seeing a slight decline in 2022. Sales last year were more than double what they were in 2020 and almost triple the numbers we saw in 2019. Looking back at the previous 10 years of (estimated) hybrid sales, there have been ups and downs:

  • 2023: 1,175,597 units

  • 2022: 766,412

  • 2021: 799,046

  • 2020: 455,067

  • 2019: 399,444

  • 2018: 338,149

  • 2017: 370,680

  • 2016: 346,949

  • 2015: 384,400

  • 2014: 452,172

Hybrids’ growing popularity is due to a number of factors, including the fact that they are significantly less expensive than electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles. There are no worries about range and charging, and with some hybrids offering almost 60 mpg, gas prices are much less of a concern.

Though they weren’t covered in this data set, plug-in hybrid sales are also growing quickly. First-quarter numbers were 46 percent better this year than last, and that climb is expected to continue through 2024. While automakers haven’t given up on their EV plans completely, the growth in PHEV sales has some backtracking a bit.

Earlier this year, Ford said it would push back the release of planned electric models while offering more hybrid choices, though it’s still focused on ramping up its EV production efforts. General Motors made a similar announcement, saying that it would bring more plug-in hybrids to market and keep them there for as long as customer demand exists. Its first new plug-in models will reach the market by 2027, according to CEO Mary Barra.

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