As the world becomes conscious of the issue of global warming, one of the easiest ways to contribute to a healthier environment is to switch over to a hybrid vehicle. They produce less carbon than a traditional vehicle, but still provide the power and performance that drivers demand from a modern vehicle.
In the past 10 years, about 2.5 million hybrid vehicles have been sold. About 20% of those sales happened in 2012 and 25% of those sales happened in 2013.
Hybrid Car Sale Statistics
Toyota is the clear front runner in the hybrid car sales statistics, as they were one of the first brands to make hybrids a reality. Out of all the units that were sold in 2013, Toyota was responsible for over 60% of them. Other brands are finding traction in this market, however, so the sales statistics look to keep increasing as technology keeps improving.
- Hybrid vehicles are believed to be saving 8.5 million barrels of oil per year.
- $22 billion. That’s the estimated market for vehicles equipped with lithium-ion batteries by the year 2020. It’s a $1.6 billion market right now.
- Plug-in hybrid vehicles as a share of the total market were at 0.29%.
- 0.46%. That’s the market percentage of vehicles that are sold with a battery electric hybrid function.
- The percentage of the hybrid market that Toyota owns: 64.5%. Ford comes in a distant second place at 13.4%. Mercedes-Benz brings up the rear, owning just 0.02% of the market.
- In December 2014, there were over 33,000 hybrid electric vehicles sold.
- 118,773. That’s the total number of plug-in electric vehicles that were sold in 2014. That’s up 23% from the year before.
- In 2011, there were just 17,735 plug-in vehicles sold.
- There are nearly 9,000 public charging stations installed in the US right now, providing electric car owners with about 22,000 outlets.
- There are 24 currently available models for fuel cell and plug-in hybrids. An additional 20 models are expected to hit the market by 2016.
In the past, hybrid vehicles were difficult for the average household to afford. With improvements in technology, however, the modern hybrid is almost the same price as a traditional vehicle. When price is an equal consideration, many people are going to choose the option that is more environmentally friendly. All of the sales numbers look pretty good, but in comparing 2014 to 2013 sales figures, the market share has actually decreased overall. In 2013, the total electric drive market share was 3.81%. In 2014, it was 3.47%. This is because there was a reduction of 20,000 hybrids being sold while total vehicle sales were up by nearly 1 million.
Why Are Hybrid Sales Struggling to Take Hold?
- With oil prices near two decade lows and fuel prices in some areas at just $1.66 per gallon in the US, the need for a hybrid vehicle is no longer seen as a necessity.
- Most of the new hybrids are sedan models, ranging in MSRP price from around $23,000 to $35,000 for a brand-new vehicle.
- Higher end hybrid vehicles have an MSRP that tops out around $70k.
- The average price of a hybrid vehicle is at least $2,000 more than a traditional vehicle.
- There are more than 60,000 hybrids that qualify for a US tax credit that is worth the same amount as many price gaps between traditional vehicles.
- Hybrids are a proven commodity, having been offered in the Asian vehicle market since 1997, and typically get 50-60 mpg in fuel economy.
- The majority of hybrid car manufacturers, including Honda, Ford and Toyota, are offering 8 to 10 years of warranty coverage on their various hybrids.
- Toyota is offering an incredible 180,000-mile warranty for their battery packs, while Hyundai’s hybrid batteries come with a lifetime warranty.
With extended warranties, better fuel economies, and life spans that are equal to traditional vehicles, the only separation value between hybrids and other vehicles is the MSRP and the fluctuating crude oil market. With the drop of oil in January 2015 affecting markets, the time is now to develop new hybrid technology for when oil futures begin to rise once again. Once the price of oil goes up, causing fuel prices to go back up, more consumers will look to hybrids once again because of the fuel savings that they can receive. When tax credits are also included in the mix, it becomes financially beneficial to help protect the environment and that’s something we all can love.
Is a Hybrid Vehicle The Right Purchase to Make?
- The average amount of fuel savings than an SUV can achieve is about $600 as a hybrid vehicle, but the price premium is often above $12,000.
- At the low end of the premium scale, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid sedan came in at an MSRP $2,650 less than the S550 sedan in an attempt to spur brand market growth.
- Hybrids deliver their best fuel economy at low speeds and in stop-and-go conditions, when the electric-drive system does a lot of the work. Highway speeds counteract the hybrid advantage.
- At $3.50 a gallon and 15,000 miles a year, it would take 6.6 years on fuel savings alone to earn back the premium for a hybrid that gets 35 mpg and costs $4,000 more than a gas-only car that gets 25 mpg.
- The Toyota Prius gets 60 mpg on city roads and 51 mpg on highways.
- In London, £2,000 in congestion charge fees can potentially be saved with a hybrid thanks to the Greener Vehicle Discount.
The one clear advantage of the hybrid vehicle is that it is able to take advantage of regenerative braking. A lot of energy is expended to slow a vehicle down, but in the past this is energy that was simply wasted. Now that energy can be harnessed and recycled so that a vehicle is able to achieve a better overall performance. The costs of fuel might be down these days, making the investment into a hybrid less tempting, but oil prices aren’t going to stay low forever. Think about investing into a hybrid vehicle and not only could you have an investment that eventually pays for itself, but you could be saving the environment as well.