Home » 2024 Is Going To Be The Year Of The Hybrid

2024 Is Going To Be The Year Of The Hybrid

Deal With It Hybrid
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I’ve been spending this week running around in an electric car and, it’s fair to say, that an electric car offers a ton of advantages over a regular gas-powered car for many people. But you know what also offers a ton of advantages over a regular gas-powered car and works for basically everyone? A hybrid. And 2024 is going to be the year of the hybrid. Hear me out.

This morning your beloved Autopian website is going to be in full force at the LA Auto Show with, I think, the largest number of journalists on hand. Our stand is going to be amazing and we’re going to have interviews/podcasts with some of the biggest names in design and engineering out here.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

We’ll also have news from our own stand, with an announcement from Dutch supercar company Zenvo that hits pretty close to home. Also, would you like an update on the UAW strike? Yeah, let’s do that. And, finally, uh, Nikola is in LA and will have some news to maybe counter the news that’s, uh, already out there.

Everything’s Coming Up Hybrid

Toyota Prius 2024 1280 0fThe MotorTrend Car of the Year is, like Peter Pan, only as real as you want it to be. If you all clap if you believe then, yeah, it’s real. If you don’t care, then it, like most awards, is meaningless. Because I agree with MotorTrend and because it serves my rhetorical purposes, I’m going to lead off today’s The Morning Dump with the news that the 2024 Toyota Prius is the MotorTrend COTY. Way to go, Tinkerbell.

Here’s what MT said in its review:

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The new 2024 Prius then is sign of the times. It’s a well-designed and largely well-engineered hatchback, with improved efficiency and performance over the outgoing car and comparable compacts. It’s a taste of that inevitable EV life without asking its drivers to meaningfully change their daily habits.

The transition to EVs isn’t quite as terrible as everyone has made it out to be, with both growth in infrastructure and sales, but high costs are definitely keeping consumers out of the market and there aren’t a lot of solutions to that in the short-term.

One solution to that in the short term? Getting people used to electrification through hybrids, which need smaller batteries and, generally, dramatically reduce the need for fossil fuels. Even better, plug-in hybrids need almost no fuel if they can be plugged in regularly at home and they also encourage people to build out more EV infrastructure.

Do you want more proof that 2024 is going to be the year of the hybrid? Well, look at the excellent Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid or, perhaps, the fact that the best-selling car in America is going hybrid only with the 2025 Toyota Camry Hybrid.

Ok, ok, not enough for you?

Edmunds sent us over some data this week on hybrid market share and it’s a doozy.

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Year-over-year, hybrid market share (6.5% to 11.4%) has increased much more significantly than EVs (6.0% to 7.5%)

Market share for EVs has almost doubled according to Edmunds data, compared to a much smaller increase for EVs. I think this shows both the strength of the hybrid market (and the number of choices) and the shakiness of the EV one right now.

You want to see some other crazy data from Edmunds? Yeah, yeah you do. In October of this year, the average transaction price for a new car was $47,753 according to their data. The average EV transacted at $59,064. The average gas-powered car transacted at $47,417. The average hybrid? Just $42,259.

And this isn’t because of discounting. The average incentive for an EV last month was $2,601, for a gas-powered car it was $1,031, but for hybrids it was only $394. Now, obviously part of this reason is that the most popular hybrid vehicles are economy-minded cars like the Prius, Civic, Accord, et cetera and not pickup trucks (though hybrid pickup trucks are coming). I also think that this product mix is why they’ll be successful.

It’s a challenging macroeconomic environment for both dealers and buyers and the lowly hybrid is the perfect eat-your-cake-and-have-it-too type vehicle, offering green credentials in attractive body styles with improved efficiency for only a small premium over a gas-powered car.

2024! Year of the hybrid! You heard it here first.

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Zenvo Gets A US Dealer… Galpin

When we were at The Quail in Monterey this year one of the cars we decided to check out was the 1,850 horsepower Zenvo Aurora. We all dug the hyper hypercar, with its hybrid powertrain (see?!?) and its mechanically-flipping gauges:

Gaugeflip

They’re so satisfying.

But that was it, we thought. We checked out a cool hypercar. Had a nice conversation. Moved on.

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So it was a fun surprise this week when we noticed there was a Zenvo display inside the Galpin Hall of Customs where the Autopian booth is located. Why is that? I’ll let today’s press release explain:

On the West Coast, Zenvo have partnered with Galpin Motors, the number 1 Ford dealer and one of the most famous motor groups in the world having been established in 1946.  With a substantial showroom set up in LA where they also manage another 12 manufacturers including Porsche, Aston Martin and Lotus. Galpin Motors will provide unrivalled support for Zenvo customers on the West Coast.

Zenvo LA will be managed by President/CEO of Galpin Motors and President of Galpin Auto Sports, Beau Boeckmann, plus his elite sales team as the dealership’s only hypercar brand. Discussing Galpin and Zenvo’s new partnership, Beau commented: “When I first saw the Zenvo Aurora, I fell in love. It’s the most beautiful hypercar I’ve seen in a while. And when I learned about the technology, the bespoke V12 engine, and the unbelievable performance, I was hooked. We are incredibly excited to represent Zenvo for the West Coast!”

So I was talking to Beau yesterday as we set up the stand and he confirmed that this all came together after we did that video. Come by and see the cars at the show if you haven’t already, they look great. Also, if you’re a bespoke hypercar manufacturer you should definitely book a video with The Autopian. Good things happen.

The UAW Deals Will Probably Pass

Uaw Striking Workers
Photo: UAW

For all the hand-wringing lately over the close votes at some UAW plants, it does seem like all three deals are going to pass.

As of this morning, Ford’s at 67% yes, Stellantis is at 67% yes, and GM is at a much tighter 54% yes.

Why has GM been lagging? There’s an entire story in the Detroit Free Press this morning that’s worth reading, but here’s what jumped out at me:

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At Fort Wayne, UAW Local 2209 Shop Chairman Rich LeTourneau told the Free Press the reason for the rejection there was that traditional members — those hired before 2007 — wanted the bigger wage gains to come in the first two years of the agreement rather than waiting for the total 25% gain across 4.5 years.

They also wanted a bigger contribution to their pensions, LeTourneau said. The contract is offering a $5 gain to the pension multiplier. It is presently $54 so it would rise to $59. That means for someone who worked at GM for 30 years, their pension would rise from $1,620 a month to $1,770 a month. Some considered it too small of a gain, LeTourneau said.

For those members who are currently “in progression,” LeTourneau said they wanted the pension reinstated and retiree health care, neither of which happened in this contract.

This is how deals are made. They’re not equally good for everyone and this deal, in particular, seems to shade a bit more towards workers in parts warehouses.

Nikola Founder Looking To Get Probation

Nikola Badger
Photo credit: Nikola Motor

The opening of this year’s LA Auto Show will include a breakfast and keynote from Nikola, the troubled electric Semi truck maker. This comes as its founder, Trevor Milton, seeks probation following multiple guilty verdicts on wire and securities fraud stemming from statements he made about Nikola’s technology.

Per Reuters:

In a Tuesday night court filing, lawyers for Milton said he should get probation at his Nov. 28 sentencing, in part to care for his ailing wife.

The lawyers said there was “not a shred of evidence” that Milton had ill intent, and any misstatements resulted from his “deeply-held optimism and belief” in his Phoenix-based company.

[…]

The lawyers distinguished Holmes’ case by saying Theranos, which promised to run many medical tests on one blood drop from a finger prick, was not a “real company with real products,” and that Holmes’ lies put people at medical risk.

The old: We’re-not-as-bad-as-Elizabeth Holmes defense has to work, right?

The Big Question

We’re all out here at the LA Auto Show, what do you want to see?

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SoMuchBetterThanJalopnic
SoMuchBetterThanJalopnic
6 months ago

I realize I’m late to the party here, and no one will likely read this, but if this is the year of the hybrid, would a sterling engine/Hybrid be the ideal type of hybrid? Given the engines efficiency at steady state and simplicity to build?

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
6 months ago

Lets hope I can buy one this year. As cheap as I am, I’m also getting tired of our 11 year old Subaru. Looking at you Toyota.

Thatmiataguy
Thatmiataguy
7 months ago

Serious question: Why is it that when hybrids get elevated here as an example of a low sacrifice, low downside, low cost way of reducing fuel consumption and emissions there are always several people that make it a point to say hybrids are somehow pointless, ineffective, or simply not good enough somehow?

How is increasing fuel economy by as much as hybrids do an excercise in futility somehow? I feel like I keep hearing a few of the same arguments over and over:

Hybrids are the worst of both worldsHybrids are needlessly complexHybrids are bad because the hybrid system and battery adds weightHybrids are pointless because you can’t drive in electric-only modeHybrids are less efficient than simply building some tiny lightweight super aerodynamic wondercar that doesn’t exist and would never see series productionHybrids don’t actually save that much gasI could probably think of more, but I digress.

Why do ideas like these still persist, 15 years after the Prius started rolling off the assembly line? Do some people just dislike green cars so much that they’ll find any reason to ignore the legitimate benefits that a type of powertrain has?

Why, everything else about a car being equal, is adding a hybrid powertrain component so egregious or useless for some people? It honestly doesn’t seem very logical.

Last edited 7 months ago by Thatmiataguy
86-GL
86-GL
7 months ago
Reply to  Thatmiataguy

I agree with you, but not every hybrid system is as refined or fuel-economy-focused as Toyota’s, and that definitely turns some buyers off the concept.

The Jeep 4Xe SUVs gets worse milage than their pure-ICE equivalents once they run out of electric range. That may not be the end of the world for people who use them for short commutes, but an obvious waste for long distance drivers.

The F150 3.5 Powerboost hybrid is nice, but realistically gets the same fuel economy as the cheaper 2.7 Ecoboost. Sure, you get a ‘guilt free’ 430hp/570lb-ft muscle truck, but you’re not saving much of anything.

Again, I think hybrid tech is awesome with basically no downside, but you have to implement it properly. The next few years will be interesting.

Theoretically, Ford could introduce a ‘low output’ (say 300hp) hybrid drivetrain for the F150, similar to the base model hybrid Maverick. I bet they could see combined MPGs in the low to mid 30s.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
7 months ago

> Market share for EVs has almost doubled according to Edmunds data, compared to a much smaller increase for EVs.

You don’t say

> And this isn’t because of discounting. The average incentive for an EV last month was $2,601, for a gas-powered car it was $1,031, but for hybrids it was only $394.

That’s partially a non sequitur unless you add “just,” I.e. “this isn’t just because of discounting.”

Last edited 7 months ago by Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
SegaF355Fan
SegaF355Fan
7 months ago

Year-over-year, hybrid market share (6.5% to 11.4%) has increased much more significantly than EVs (6.0% to 7.5%)”

While this is a significant gain for hybrids (approaching twice the market share of EVs), I would be interested in knowing the year-to-year volatility. Did hybrids drop from 12% share and are now rebounding to 11.4%? Are EVs progressing from 1% to 6% to 7.5% and showing continuous growth? Numbers are all well and good, but a little context would be greatly appreciated.

SprayinJuice
SprayinJuice
7 months ago

For years I’ve been saying to anyone who will listen that plug-in Hybrids are the best powertrain for most people right now and the foreseeable future.

When you consider all consumer needs, geopolitics, supply chains, emissions, battery mining/manufacturing/disposal and needed infrastructure it seems blatantly obvious that plug-in Hybrids are the solution for the masses.

BEVs might dominate one day but reality is setting in. Plug-in Hybrids will dominate the market in the coming years.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
7 months ago
Reply to  SprayinJuice

I’d get a plug-in hybrid if the battery-only range wasn’t so horrible.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago

How much range do you need?

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

It’s not that, it’s the fact most of the driving is on gasoline.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago

Of course the idea is local trips are on EV mode only. Only the longer trips are supposed to burn gas.

Well except for the times the engine kicks on to make sure the fuel in the lines stays fresh and that the tank gets emptied at least twice a year before the gas sours. That’s why I’m disappointed not to see more propane and natural gas PHEVs, those gasses don’t have an expiration date. NG is cheaper per mile too.

ScottyB
ScottyB
7 months ago

Saw my first new Prius on the road a few days ago. As I passed it on the right (some things never change) it was sort of mind blowing to see a Toyota of any kind that wasn’t ugly.

Priced out with all the toys and AWD this might be the biggest new car bargain in the business right now.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  ScottyB

Why were you passing it on the right?

Curtis Loew
Curtis Loew
7 months ago

Probably not the year on the EV and Hybrids. Demand for them is leveling off. Those who wanted one already have one now.

HowDoYouCrash
HowDoYouCrash
7 months ago
Reply to  Curtis Loew

I think that misreads where hybrids are going. Hybrids are becoming default power trains simply because they help manufactures increase efficiency and some offer the chance to reduce cost/complexity. Similar to how turbo charging killed the V6. I think hybrids will slowly come for every power train level.

ScottyB
ScottyB
7 months ago
Reply to  Curtis Loew

EVs and hybrids are totally different animals as far as demand.

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
7 months ago
Reply to  Curtis Loew

Did you read the article? It literally says the opposite

Year-over-year, hybrid market share (6.5% to 11.4%) has increased much more significantly than EVs (6.0% to 7.5%)

Not getting the hybrid model over the pure gas when buying a new car is a bonehead move, it’s literally a better car and better value all the way around.

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
7 months ago

Yeah but there are no hybrids on lots, they’re all pre-sold. If you need a car today you have to go gas, or worse get a Stellantis product

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
7 months ago

That’s a good point. I’m the kind of person who is willing to wait for exactly what I want but I can see others being in a more pressing situation. It also shows that hybrids are definitely in demand since those are the ones consistently on back order

VanGuy
VanGuy
7 months ago

I’m hoping to make my 2012 Prius v last as long as possible. I’ve already done some mods…1.5″ lift…front and back dashcam…compact subwoofer under the passenger seat…added fog lights since it didn’t have them from the factory…9″ Android Auto head unit to replace the factory one.

Hoping I’m driving this long enough for an EV to be feasible to buy after. Especially since these gen 5 Prii seem to be hurting for storage space compared to prior models, never mind compared to the v variant. I don’t even know what the closest Toyota hybrid model for size to the v would be at this point…

Last edited 7 months ago by VanGuy
JunkInTheFrunk
JunkInTheFrunk
7 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

I think you’re going to find the Rav4 hybrid pretty dang close for all intents and purposes to our beloved Prius V. I suspect they cut the V from the family because there is so much overlap with the Rav4.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
7 months ago
Reply to  JunkInTheFrunk

We have a 2020 Prius AWD and a 2021 Rav4 hybrid. There is really only a bit more space in the Rav4 and that space difference is vertical. The floor (seats down) space is about the same.

JT4Ever
JT4Ever
7 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

Look into EGR cleaning and adding an oil catch can. PriusChat has a lot of information. You may be looking at a head gasket at 180-200k miles, keeping the EGR clear will help

VanGuy
VanGuy
7 months ago
Reply to  JT4Ever

Don’t think I could pass inspection with an oil catch can, but I did get the EGR cleaned out preemptively 5,000 miles ago at 140,000. So, fingers crossed.

I’m still not sure what I’m gonna do when the original HV battery dies. Still torn between OEM and that Project Lithium replacement…

JT4Ever
JT4Ever
7 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

We have a 2010 Prius with 190k miles on the original HV battery. So fingers crossed, hopefully yours holds strong. We also have a 2014 V with 110k miles, gonna do the EGR in the spring. Good point about inspection, I didn’t consider that part. Could get interesting next year! My kid did the head gasket in the 2010 and added the catch can.

VanGuy
VanGuy
7 months ago
Reply to  JT4Ever

I think I’m the 4th owner of this v, but if it weren’t for the Carfax I wouldn’t have known it. I’m guessing the prior owners just got bored. But it’s been going strong for 45,000 miles now.
Either way, given its age, I’ve been told to do the oil changes at every 5,000 miles (in spite of the recommended 10,000 interval) so that’s what I do.

JT4Ever
JT4Ever
7 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

We stuck with 10k oil changes until recently, but 5k can’t hurt. The V is a pretty great car, just the right size for most things, efficient and reliable. I’m kind of amazed it didn’t catch on more

Hgrunt
Hgrunt
7 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

I’ve been window shopping Prius Vs as a potential replacement for my very thirsty GX470 because it turns out, I don’t really do the kind of offroading that gets anywhere close to the GX’s capabilities

How much has the lift kit impacted the MPGs on yours?

VanGuy
VanGuy
7 months ago
Reply to  Hgrunt

It’s the 1.5″ kit from PriusOffroad. In short, either no effect, or a negligible loss.

I live near Harrisburg, PA, and do mostly highway driving. City driving is too “rushed” for me to actually get the claimed better economy with that.

I peak at around 41 mpg in warmer months, 38-40 most of the year, and then some low spikes in the winter. (I cruise at 68mph on the highway).

My tires are Hankook Kinergy PTs. They’re identical to the OEM spec size, but their load/speed rating is 92H rather than 91V. I just wanted the 80,000-mile warranty. They can spin out a little bit if I floor it from a stop uphill, but I dunno if that’d be different on stock tires. Either way it’s not been a problem for me.

When I was still doing a 10-minute commute to work, I once got low 30s on one tank in a cold month. But it was more or less expected, and that hasn’t happened since. Seldom below 36.

And those numbers are calculated from the pump, not the car’s screen.

The lift is visually noticeable if you’re looking for it, but realistically I don’t get much practical value out of it. Just wanted something nice, and maybe to be able to go over the speed bumps in my friend’s apartment complex without scraping the bottom if I hit it at 6 mph instead of 5. Much more forgiving now.

I still might add the PriusOffroad skid plate to replace the plastic splash shield, but again, I don’t actually go offroad to need such a thing.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
7 months ago

“Everything’s Coming Up Hybrid”
Well it’s about time. In my view this should have happened already 5-10 years ago.

We’re all out here at the LA Auto Show, what do you want to see?”

EVERYTHING! I even want to see pics of any ants, cockroachs or fleas you come across!!!!

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago

“EVERYTHING! I even want to see pics of any ants, cockroachs or fleas you come across!!!!”

Well its the Autopian booth so there should be plenty of all the above.

Last edited 7 months ago by Cheap Bastard
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