Report: Hybrid & electric vehicle sales to dip 20% in 2020 due to pandemic

Introduction of new hybrid and electric CUVs & SUVs will bolster sales volumes.

CLEVELANDAug. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — US retail sales of light-duty hybrid and electric vehicles (LD HEVs) are forecast to advance 4.9% annually in unit terms through 2024, according to Hybrid & Electric Light Vehicles: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports.

Gains will be supported by the rising number of models for consumers to choose from at increasingly comprehensive price points.

The introduction of more HEV crossovers (also called CUVs) and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) will also drive growth, as US consumers generally prefer larger vehicles.

Advances on that front will be spurred by the virtuous cycle of lithium-ion battery price decline as electric vehicle demand increases, owing to economies of scale.

Growth will also be supported by lengthening charge intervals, ongoing efforts to deploy or expand existing charging and fueling infrastructure, government subsidies and incentives, clean energy programs, and growing concerns regarding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as air quality and vehicle emissions in city centers.

At the same time, light HEVs will continue to face strong functional competition from comparable conventional light vehicles, which generally have lower upfront costs and are becoming increasingly fuel efficient, reducing the financial fuel savings advantage of LD HEVs, hybrid vehicles in particular.

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LD HEV sales in 2020 are expected to slip 20% below 2019 levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Widespread economic uncertainty owing to high unemployment will dampen consumer confidence, leading to a downturn in purchases of big-ticket durable goods, including LD HEVs. Demand in 2020 will also be somewhat supply-constrained due to state-mandated factory closures.

These and other key insights are featured in Hybrid & Electric Light Vehicles: United States. This report forecasts to 2020 and 2024 US LD HEV retail sales in units. Total retail sales are segmented by power source in terms of:

  • full hybrid electric vehicles (FHEVs)
  • plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)
  • battery electric vehicles (BEVs)
  • fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs)

To illustrate historical trends, total retail sales and the various segments are provided in annual series from 2009 to 2019.

Mild hybrids are considered a type of full hybrid for the purposes of this report. Excluded from the scope of this report are micro hybrids, in which vehicle propulsion is generated from an internal combustion engine but some technological features found in hybrid vehicles – specifically start-stop systems – are used to improve fuel economy. Because these vehicles do not use an electric motor for propulsion, they fall outside the scope of this report.

About Freedonia Focus Reports

Each month, The Freedonia Group – a division of – publishes over 20 new or updated Freedonia Focus Reports, providing fresh, unbiased analysis on a wide variety of markets and industries. Published in 20-30 pages, Focus Report coverage ranges from raw materials to finished manufactured goods and related services such as freight and construction. Additional Consumer Goods reports can be purchased at Freedonia Focus Reports or