Ford’s electric vehicles aren’t doing too bad despite a lot of gloom in the industry over a slowdown in EV sales growth. But hybrids are where the Blue Oval is really crushing it, posting its best quarter in its nearly 20 years of selling gas-electric hybrids.

The automaker sold 38,421 hybrid vehicles in the first three months of 2024, representing an increase of 42 percent compared to Q1 in 2023. Sales of the hybrid version of Ford’s midsize Maverick pickup truck were up 77 percent over a year ago on sales of 19,660. And with new F-150 hybrids preparing to ship to dealers, Ford says that hybrid sales will continue to grow throughout the year.

Ford says that hybrid sales will continue to grow throughout the year

Overall, hybrids are having a bit of a renaissance. “Hybrids are the more comfortable choice for the majority of Americans seeking electrified options right now,” Edmunds says, noting that hybrid growth in 2023 — up 65 percent — is much faster than pure battery-electric vehicles — only up 46 percent.

Ford’s gas-guzzling SUVs (Escape, Explorer, Expedition, and Bronco) also had a historic quarter, which the company is calling its “all-time best” ever. Ford sold 216,997 SUVs — up 15 percent over last year. It’s a pretty clear (and, if you’re someone concerned about the future of the planet, dispiriting) sign that combustion engine vehicles aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Ford’s three EVs — the Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning, and E-Transit van — performed admirably this past quarter. Sales of pure battery-electric vehicles were up 86 percent over last year, for a total of 20,223 EVs, the company said — although that number dipped 22 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2023. (Sales are traditionally slower in the first quarter of every year.)

Ford’s gas-guzzling SUVs also had an historic quarter

Ford sold 9,589 Mustang Mach-E SUVs (77 percent increase year over year), 7,743 F-150 Lightning trucks (80 percent increase), and 2,891 E-Transit vans (148 percent increase). All in all, Ford said it retained its status as the No. 2 seller of EVs in the US, although it still trails Tesla by a significant margin. (Tesla delivered over 386,000 EVs in Q1 of this year.)

Other automakers continue to struggle to find customers for their EVs. General Motors, for example, only sold 16,425 EVs in the first quarter, or 2.8 percent of total sales. The company is in the midst of ramping up production of its new Ultium-powered EVs, like the Cadillac Lyriq and Chevy Blazer, while winding down production of the Chevy Bolt, which is being discontinued and replaced with an Ultium version.

GM is also trying to get in on the hybrid action, fast-tracking hybrid versions of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra.

Of course, there are credible arguments against hybrids. The current climate crisis we’re facing right now doesn’t call for half measures — and hybrids are literal half measures. We need to dramatically reduce our fossil fuel consumption, which is why the Biden administration is going all in on battery EVs. This transition needs to happen as fast as possible.


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