Hybrid car sales are about to surpass electric cars: Does a series of car manufacturers switching to follow Toyota worry Elon Musk?

In 2023, Hybrid car sales in the US broke a record of 1 million units, up 76% over the same period last year and approaching the number of electric cars sold. Currently, Toyota is the number 1 hybrid car seller in the world and this success has caused a series of companies to shift away from electric cars.

Fortune said that in 2023, Hybrid car sales in the US broke a record of 1 million units, up 76% over the same period last year. This is an extremely impressive growth rate when Hybrid car sales in 2022 are lower than in 2021.

This year’s figure doesn’t even include the 148,000 Plug-in cars sold. This is a car that runs on batteries for short distances before using a gasoline internal combustion engine.

Plug-in is the most complex concept because it is a variant created when combining electric cars and hybrid cars. The Plug-in variant uses 1 internal combustion engine and 1 electric motor. The difference is that this electric motor can be charged externally and is not under the control of the system like Hybrid.

On the electric vehicle side, although sales also broke records, reaching more than 1 million sales in 2023, the growth rate has slowed down and is lower than expectations. Despite a series of incentives, sales of electric vehicles are gradually being caught up by hybrid cars.

Please be reminded that electric cars currently only account for 7% of total car sales across the United States, thereby showing that the race is still very long and the possibility of being “overtaken” by Hybrid cars is possible.

According to Fortune, the slowdown in sales growth of electric vehicles is causing many businesses to worry that interest and user demand for this product is rapidly eroding. Even some large corporations have cut production, scaled back electric vehicle projects or battery factories at the risk of losses.

The cause of this situation is assessed to be due to many factors, from the fact that the price of electric cars is still too high compared to the general level, the lack of charging stations and logistics chains to Hybrid cars that have many equivalent features but is easier to use.

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Ford, the world’s second largest hybrid car manufacturer after Toyota, has now changed its strategy after seeing the correct path that the Japanese auto brand has chosen. In addition to cutting the scale of electric vehicle projects, Ford also plans to quadruple Hybrid vehicle production in the next 5 years to meet market demand.

Even GM, which abandoned most Hybrid car projects in the US four years ago to prioritize making electric cars, has now changed its tune, announcing that it will consider bringing Hybrid projects back.

Meanwhile, a series of surveys in the US show that consumers are becoming more and more demanding with electric vehicles because the price is too high even with support from the government, not to mention the inadequate coverage of charging stations. meet the needs.

“A standard Hybrid car is more than enough to meet the needs of most customers, from price to environmental protection or cost savings. People today don’t want to be inconvenienced by the lack of charging stations,” said director Ivan Drury of Edmunds.com, an auto website.

Fortune said that although Hybrid cars still emit a certain amount of greenhouse gas emissions into the environment, because they use less gasoline, they also pollute less. In addition, convenience and reasonable price are advantages that electric cars cannot compete with.

“Customers feel completely comfortable driving a Hybrid 45-50 miles using only 1 gallon of gas, not to mention not needing to charge much to waste time,” said Scott Adams, owner of a center. Selling Toyota cars in Kansas City frankly.

Change perception

According to Fortune, American consumers are now becoming more and more aware of environmental protection, not to mention the policy of policymakers to gradually phase out gasoline cars.

However, most current customers in the US do not believe that electric cars can help them travel as conveniently and comfortably as gasoline cars, at least in the near future. Therefore, Hybris cars become the most suitable choice for the majority of Americans.

“Consumers want to protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also do not want to lose transportation convenience. Therefore, Hybrid cars are the most suitable choice for everyone,” said sales director Jack Hollis of Toyota North America branch.

Besides, despite the war on price suppression as well as support from the government budget, electric cars are still too expensive compared to the general level. Not to mention that because technology is still improving as well as the price war, old electric cars are rapidly devaluing. Then the cost of repair and replacement is too expensive.

Fortune’s calculations show that electric cars had an average price of 63,000 USD in 2022, but this year it has dropped to more than 60,500 USD/car, still too high compared to the average price of gasoline cars.

In addition, the government’s regulations on not supporting vehicle models using equipment and batteries from China and third countries have caused only a few vehicle models to receive subsidies.

In contrast, Hybrid cars in the US have an average price of only 42,000 USD, which is only slightly more expensive than gasoline cars of the same line or performance. For example, a Toyota RAV 4 Hybrid costs $32,825, only $1,600 more expensive than a gasoline car in the same line.

Data from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that a Honda CRV Hybrid emits 40 mpg less greenhouse gas emissions than a gasoline car, while saving the owner about 450 USD/year through gasoline costs.

Stable

Another factor that makes electric cars lose points in the eyes of users is stability. Many customers and research experts have shown that electric batteries will lose performance in extreme weather such as cold.

Tests in Norway, where electric vehicles account for 80% of new cars sold, showed that although this vehicle is environmentally friendly, it loses 10-36% of its operating range in cold conditions.

In the US, most electric vehicles are consumed in areas near the coast or with warm climates. This is also where there is a larger network of charging stations than other areas in the US when electric cars can operate at full capacity.

On the contrary, in Central America and the Northern region, the number of charging stations is very small due to cold climate conditions and rugged mountainous terrain, which makes it expensive to build charging stations, not to mention the sparse population density. than.

Unlike electric cars, Consumer Report shows that Hybrid cars are considered to have the most stable system in the industry. This report shows that electric cars have the least stable features because they are new technology and prone to malfunctions due to many factors while Hybrid cars have been in development for a long time.

Please be reminded that Hybrid cars have been sold in the US for more than 20 years and have been thoroughly researched and improved by engineers from many large auto corporations.

Therefore, Consumer Report director Jake Fisher affirmed that a car that has been on sale longer will certainly be more reliable than new technology.

However, whether hybrid cars can overtake electric cars or not is still a question because technology is always improving every day. The Washington government is also increasing charging station coverage to further popularize electric vehicles.

Regardless, users still prefer to choose Hybrid cars over electric cars.

“Customers see Hybrid cars as the first step into this new segment. They all think they’re not crazy enough to buy an electric car right away,” said Brad Sowers, owner of a car sales center in St Louis, USA, when many customers choose Hybrid instead of electric cars.

*Source: Fortune

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