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The sale of hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) increased by 76% from 2020 to 2021. HEVs are fueled with gasoline and cannot be plugged in but have better fuel economy than conventional gasoline vehicles due to their electric drive systems. HEV batteries store energy from regenerative braking, provide electric power to the wheels, and support electrical vehicle systems for short periods while the engine is stopped. The first full year of HEV sales in the United States was in 2000. Since then, there have been two distinct periods of growth prior to the 76% surge in sales from 2020 to 2021. The surge from 2020 to 2021 is possibly related to rising gasoline prices. The price of gas, however, is just one of the many factors affecting vehicle sales.

Hybrid-Electric Vehicle Sales and Average Annual Gasoline Price, 2000-2021

Note: Average annual price is for regular gasoline.

Sources: Gasoline price – U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Regular All Formulations Retail Gasoline Prices, accessed July 14, 2022.

Hybrid vehicle sales – Argonne National Laboratory, Light Duty Electric Drive Vehicles Monthly Sales Updates, July 2022.