Speaking as humans, we can be thankful (in general) that 2021 is in the rearview mirror. Economic, health, and environmental concerns made for 12 months of one bummer after another—after nearly a year of even more of that in 2020. But if you were some sort of anthropomorphic electrified vehicle, you’d be thrilled: there are more of you on U.S. roads than ever before.
Make that 1,236,429 of you reaching the roads just this year, according to sales data compiled by Reuters. Of these, 801,550 were hybrids and 434,879 were battery electric vehicles. For hybrids that’s a 76 percent increase over last year, and for EVs it’s an even more impressive 83 percent jump.
These numbers look good, but they’re a drop in the overall bucket. Of all cars sold in 2021, just 5 percent were hybrids, and 3 percent EVs. The best-selling Ford F-Series pickup alone moved 726,004 units alone in 2021.
That said, manufacturers with strong hybrid lineups did well this year with those vehicles. Toyota’s hybrid sales rose 73 percent to 583,697, and Honda grew hybrid sales by 67 percent to 107,060. Even the star-crossed Chevy Bolt, hit by a wave of troubling news regarding battery pack fires, managed to increase its figures by almost 20 percent. It sure seems like there’s momentum in the electrified space beyond a mere expansion of offerings.
As policies, regulations, and consumer acceptance shifts, we can expect these sales to grow. But how much of the U.S. market electrified vehicles will be able to conquer remains to be seen.
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