Hybrid Vehicle Sales Take a Dive

A new study revealed that more car buyers are choosing plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) while fewer are choosing traditional hybrid vehicles. Both types are considered to be electric vehicles, and hybrid sales far outnumber PEV sales.

2 minute read

September 16, 2014, 10:00 AM PDT

By Irvin Dawid

"A study by online automotive research company Edmunds.com suggests a stall in the market for electrically powered cars, led by a decline in hybrids," writes Charles Fleming of the Los Angeles Times.

However, the study defines electric vehicles to include hybrid vehicles that lack home charging capability, i.e. plugs, and that's key to understanding the study's findings. In fact, the research by Senior Analyst and Director of Pricing and Industry Analysis, Jessica Caldwell, "showed substantial gains in the pure EV and plug-in hybrid (PHEV or PHV) segments -- 35% and 44%, respectively," writes Fleming.

But traditional hybrid sales fell from 350,530 vehicles from January to August last year to 327,418 during the same period in 2014. [A decline of 6.6%]

Sales of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), which includes any electric vehicle with a plug, are recorded by Inside EVs. Note the five top-sellers from January through August this year:

  1. Nissan Leaf:        18,941
  2. Chevy Volt:         13,146
  3. Toyota Prius PHV: 11,489
  4. Ford Fusion Energi  8,683
  5. Tesla Model S:       8,500

However, the drop in hybrid sales brought down the market share of electric vehicle share of the total auto market. "So far this year, they account for 3.66% of all vehicles sold, down from 3.84% for the same period a year ago," notes Fleming.

As for reasons to explain why traditional hybrid vehicles have dropped in sales, Caldwell suggests "stable gas prices, increasingly good fuel-efficiency levels of gas cars, (and) higher average price of electric vehicles.

Indeed, the latest gasoline price projections show continued declines resulting from "a global glut of crude oil", notwithstanding the increasing political turbulence due to tensions with Islamic State.

"This was a market that was supposed to grow, relatively rapidly, as people embraced these new technologies and more brands began selling these models,” said Edmunds senior analyst Jessica Caldwell. “That hasn’t happened.

Further, it comes during a year in which sales of all cars have been booming. The industry just reported its best August in more than a decade, and it has gained about 5% so far this year compared with the same period last year.

Thursday, September 4, 2014 in Los Angeles Times

Close-up of 'Red Line Subway Entry' sign with Braille below and train logo above text in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago Red Line Extension Could Transform the South Side

The city’s transit agency is undertaking its biggest expansion ever to finally bring rail to the South Side.

November 24, 2023 - The Architect's Newspaper

stack of books

Planetizen’s Top Planning Books of 2023

The world is changing, and planning with it.

November 24, 2023 - Planetizen Team

College students walking on green lawn with neoclassical red brick domed building in background on University of Illinois campus.

Why College Campuses Make Ideal Models for Cities

College campuses serve as ideal models for cities, with their integrated infrastructure, vibrant communities, sustainability initiatives, and innovation hubs inspiring urban planning and development for a brighter future.

November 16, 2023 - Devin Partida

Makeshift shelter built by unhoused people on hillside overlooking freeway in Stockton, California.

Study: Homeless People Face Higher Mortality Risk

Unhoused adults are more than three times as likely to die in any given year as their housed counterparts, research shows.

November 27 - San Francisco Chronicle

BlueLA car share car parked in Los Angeles.

Study: Equity in Car Share Programs Requires Low Cost, Broad Coverage

Data from a Los Angeles car share program showed its impact on underserved communities was ‘limited by its small footprint.’

November 27 - Streetsblog USA

Aerial view of two sports stadiums in Arlington, Texas.

The Largest U.S. City Lacking Mass Transit

Arlington, Texas has the dubious distinction of being the largest city in the nation with no fixed-route public transit system.

November 27 - Fort Worth Report

Assistant/Associate Professor in Indigenous Planning

University of New Mexico - School of Architecture & Planning

Principal Planner

Placer County

Coastal Program Analyst III

San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC)

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.