People seem to either love or hate plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Depending on your perspective, PHEVs are either an important part of the solution of transitioning off gas-powered vehicles — or an absolutely horrendous idea and waste of energy and resources.
Regardless of your views on PHEVs, however, they remain a fairly popular choice of EV and through April 2021 accounted for 36.7% of EVs (BEV and PHEV) sold in the US since January 2011. And in California, the most EV-centric state in the US, PHEVs comprise a slightly higher percentage of EV registrations to date at 38.3%.
The Ups and Downs of US PHEV Sales: 2011 Through Q1 2021
While PHEVs account for 36.7% of EVs sold in the US between January 2011 and April 2021, plug-in hybrid’s share of EV sales has varied widely over that 10 year and four month period. In 2012 PHEVs reached their high point at 74.6% due to the popularity of the Chevrolet Volt. But then PHEVs saw a steady decline from 2016 to a low point in 2020 at 21.3%, driven partially by GM ending production of the Volt in 2019.
Sales rebounded in the first four months of 2021 to 26.7%, however, due primarily to strong sales of the Toyota Prius Prime and RAV4 Prime. Look for the PHEV share of EV sales to likely increase even further for all of 2021 with continued strong sales from the Prius Prime and RAV4 Prime, and from six new PHEVs either already available or are expected in the next few months:
- Jeep Wrangler 4xe (arrived in March 2021 and Stellantis claimed it outsold the Prius Prime in Q2)
- Ford Escape PHEV (went on sale in August)
- Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring PHEV (expected at dealers in October)
- Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV (Available summer of 2021)
- Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid SX (Available late 2021))
- Lexus 450h+ (starts production in the third quarter of 2021)