Hybrid Electric Automobiles and Trucks


The majority of all hybrid vehicles are considered an automobile or a light-duty vehicle. This should not surprise anyone that has followed the development of hybrid technology over the years. Due to battery limitations, implementing hybrid technology has usually come at the expense of vehicle power and performance. Therefore, fleet operators have been forced to choose between improved vehicle gas mileage and decreased vehicle horsepower. For most light-duty fleets this choice is relatively easy.

For example, for a fleet of light-duty automobiles driven by company salespeople, an increase in miles per gallon is worth the corresponding drop in horsepower. Conversely, for a fleet of medium to heavy duty tow trucks, that same drop in vehicle horsepower and towing capabilities may drastically affect their primary area of business. As battery technology improves and reduces the tradeoff between increased miles per gallon and vehicle performance, the use of hybrid technology in medium and heavy-duty vehicles will drastically increase. However, until those improvements occur the growth of light-duty hybrids is expected to skyrocket.

In 2018, 2.4 million hybrids were sold globally out of 94.6 million total, representing a market share of 2.5%.[1] This number is expected to continue to grow in the next decade. While Europe and China remain leaders in the hybrid market, hybrid sales continue to grow in the United States as well due to government incentives and increased demand among younger demographics.

[1] Duff & Phelps, Market Share of Hybrid/Electric vehicles (EVs) poised to increase, https://www.duffandphelps.com/insights/publications/m-and-a/millennials-and-auto-trends-report/market-share-of-hybrid-electric-vehicles-poised-to-increase, (December 10, 2020).