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Americans are really digging electrified vehicles as gas prices jump

Year-over-year in Q2, the sale of battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles rocketed 200%.

When a RAV4 Hybrid costs no more than the standard model, it's sort of a no-brainer.
Nick Miotke/Roadshow

As Americans hit the road following lockdowns and many pandemic restrictions, gas prices are up. Time and time again, when gas prices go up, drivers start to think about purchasing a more fuel-efficient vehicle. History repeats itself, you know. But we have hard data from Kelley Blue Book and Cox Automotive backing this up. On Monday, the two groups released second-quarter data for 2021 that shows electrified vehicle sales jumped 200% year-over-year.

A reminder that "electrified" vehicles include hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full battery-electric vehicles (also known as EVs). Still, with some form of electrification onboard, a vehicle becomes inherently more efficient. It's also a good reminder to say new car sales are red hot right now amid pent up demand, so that could have something to do with more electrified vehicles sold. If a standard vehicle, such as a Toyota RAV4, isn't available right away, but a RAV4 Hybrid is, that could have something to do with this.

Still, the data shows a car buying public embracing electrification. EV sales in the US blew past 100,000 vehicles for the first time in Q2 and hybrid sales climbed above 250,000. Breaking these figures down into percentages, electrified vehicles made up 8.5% of all new vehicle sales, up from 7.8% last quarter. It's not a great comparison, knowing where the US sat amid the coronavirus pandemic, but in Q2 of 2020, electrified vehicles only made up 4.2% of sales.

However, part of the surge in electrified vehicle sales can certainly be attributed to the sheer number of options buyers have available. In some cases, a hybrid powertrain is the only choice. The 2021 Sienna comes standard with hybrid power. On the EV side, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen ID 4 and Chevrolet Bolt EUV give customers options outside of Tesla at competitive prices for the segment. In fact, these new arrivals may be plunging cracks into Tesla's dominance. KBB showed Tesla's share of the EV market dropped from 71% in Q1 to 64% in Q2. Last year, Tesla owned a whopping 83% of the market.