Market Shows Shift to Hybrids

By Staff Writer May 01, 2024 449
Ford's Maverick pick-up truck's optional 2.5L Hybrid engine has had more interest from buyers then the automaker anticipated. The shift to hybrids will present a challenge for EV-centric companies such as Tesla, Rivian and Polestar. Ford's Maverick pick-up truck's optional 2.5L Hybrid engine has had more interest from buyers then the automaker anticipated. The shift to hybrids will present a challenge for EV-centric companies such as Tesla, Rivian and Polestar.

Changes in environmental regulatory requirements for the auto industry over the past six months have shifted focus from Electric Vehicles and created a pathway for Hybrid Vehicles to gain more market share. These changes also shift power away from EV leader Tesla to more Hybrid-focused OEMs.

The findings are part of “Charging Ahead: Hybrids Come into Sharper Focus as EV Aspirations Meet Reality” by Rick Wainschel, vice president of data science and analytics at Cloud Theory.

“Regulatory requirements and dates have eased, with the Biden Administration slashing ECV adoption targets from 67% to 35% by 2032,” Wainschel said. “With that shift, OEMs have pulled back on their investments and reduced their EV scale and scope.” 

Rick Wainschel.

Hybrids have been gaining in inventory share and market share for the past three years, and these changes will only add to momentum in this sector. In Q1 2024, year-over-year Hybrid share of vehicle movement jumped 3.2 percentage points, to 11.6% from 8.4% in Q1 2023. Electric Vehicle share (excluding Tesla and Rivian) grew 1 percentage point from 2.6% in Q1 2023 to 3.6% in Q1 2024. Electric Vehicle inventories (5.5%) outpaced EV market share, indicating that there is still an oversupply imbalance that was driven by overproduction as OEMs had moved towards meeting the prior regulatory standards. Meanwhile, Hybrid inventory share was significantly less than market share in Q1 2024 (9.3%% vs. 11.6%), indicating that there is room to grow that sector further.

“The shift from a sustainable future focused on EVs to one balanced between EVs and Hybrids profoundly changes the competitive landscape,” Wainschel said. “Companies such as Toyota Motor Group, Hyundai Motor Group, Stellantis, Ford Motor Company and Honda Motor Company all have well-developed Hybrid lines and now have a more varied patch to achieve fuel economy goals and regulatory requirements.”

Honda's CR-V was the best selling Hybrid in 2023.

The shift will present a challenge for EV-centric companies such as Tesla, Rivian and Polestar, which must contend for consumers--who have expressed reluctance to purchase EVs due to battery concerns, charging anxiety, and high purchase costs--with only an EV offering.

“The shift in regulatory focus gives traditional OEMs more options to meet government standards and to appeal to consumers,” Wainschel said. “Ford’s recently launched ‘Your vehicle, your choice’ campaign, for example, opens pathways that EV-specific rivals can’t follow. Trading gas-powered vehicle purchases for enough Hybrid replacements can help traditional OEMs extend regulatory demands and timelines even further, thereby reducing pressure to quickly and unprofitably introduce EVs.”

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Last modified on Monday, 06 May 2024 07:23