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Leading Global Hybrid Vehicle Manufacturers and Their Offerings

Hybrid cars are rapidly gaining traction worldwide thanks to their ability to reduce fuel consumption and emissions without requiring a switch to fully electric vehicles (EVs). Many major automakers now offer hybrid options across their model lineups. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the top 10 hybrid vehicle manufacturers globally based on their 2021 revenue.

What Are Hybrid Vehicles?

Hybrid vehicles utilize both a traditional internal combustion engine and an electric motor powered by an onboard battery pack. This allows them to maximize efficiency by optimizing the power source for different driving conditions. For example, the electric motor can handle slow speeds and stop-and-go traffic, while the gas engine kicks in for acceleration and highway cruising.

There are two main types of hybrids:

  • Full hybrids – These can drive short distances on electricity alone and switch seamlessly between the electric motor and gas engine.
  • Mild hybrids – The electric motor mainly supports the gas engine to enhance performance and efficiency.

Many automakers also offer plug-in hybrid models, which have larger batteries that can be charged by plugging into an outlet. This allows them to drive longer distances using just electric power before the gas engine is activated.

Now let‘s explore the leading manufacturers capitalizing on the hybrid vehicle boom.

#10 – Audi AG

2021 Hybrid Vehicle Revenue: $50 billion

The Germany-based luxury car giant traces its roots back to the early 20th century. Audi first dabbled with hybrid technology in 1989 when it introduced a hybrid concept car called the Audi Duo. However, the company only brought its first hybrid model aimed at mass-production, the Q5 hybrid SUV, to the market in 2011.

In 2021, plug-in hybrids accounted for 5.3% of Audi‘s production. Some popular hybrid models in Audi‘s current lineup include:

  • Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
  • Audi A6 hybrid sedan
  • Audi A7 Sportback hybrid
  • Audi A8 L 60 TFSI e quattro
  • Audi Q5 plug-in hybrid

Moving forward, Audi plans to introduce over 20 fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2025.

#9 – Renault Group

2021 Hybrid Vehicle Revenue: $52.3 billion

The Renault Group encompasses Renault, Dacia, Lada, Alpine and Mobilize brands. The French auto giant built its first electric-powered vehicle prototype back in the 1890s. More recently in 2009, Renault invested over $1 billion into the development of EVs and hybrids.

The company‘s unique E-Tech hybrid technology combines a gasoline engine with two electric motors and a multi-mode transmission for optimized energy efficiency. Some popular Renault hybrid models include:

  • Renault Captur E-Tech plug-in hybrid
  • Renault Megane E-Tech plug-in hybrid
  • Renault Clio E-Tech hybrid

Renault aims to launch 10 pure electric vehicles by 2025, capturing a 10% share of Europe‘s EV market. Hybrids will serve as a transition technology in markets not ready to fully embrace electric cars.

#8 – Kia Corporation

2021 Hybrid Vehicle Revenue: $61 billion

Kia only entered the US in 1994 but has rapidly grown into an auto industry giant. The South Korean company introduced its first hybrid aimed at large-scale production in 2010 with the Optima Hybrid sedan.

Some popular hybrid models currently offered by Kia include:

  • Niro hybrid crossover
  • Sorento hybrid midsize SUV
  • Sportage hybrid compact SUV

By 2030, Kia is targeting 25% of its global sales from eco-friendly vehicles such as hybrids, plug-in hybrids and EVs. It aims to become a top-tier "sustainable mobility solutions provider."

#7 – Nissan Motor Corporation

2021 Hybrid Vehicle Revenue: $69 billion

The Japanese auto giant was an early pioneer in mass-market electric vehicles with the launch of the world-famous Nissan LEAF back in 2010. The company is now applying similar know-how to produce affordable, efficient hybrid options.

Some of Nissan‘s leading hybrid models include:

  • Nissan Rogue hybrid SUV
  • Nissan Pathfinder hybrid 3-row SUV
  • Nissan Murano hybrid midsize crossover
  • Nissan Altima hybrid sedan

By incorporating more hybrid powertrains across lineup, Nissan aims to achieve 50% electrification mix by fiscal year 2030.

#6 – Hyundai Motor Company

2021 Hybrid Vehicle Revenue: $98.1 billion

Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, Hyundai produces affordable and efficient vehicles positioned to thrive in today‘s climate-focused automotive market. The company has launched an entire sub-brand called Ioniq dedicated exclusively to eco-friendly cars.

Some current Hyundai hybrid models include:

  • Hyundai Sonata hybrid
  • Hyundai Tucson hybrid
  • Hyundai Santa Fe hybrid
  • Hyundai Ioniq hybrid
  • Hyundai Elantra hybrid

Hyundai plans for electric, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to account for 30% of its global fleet sales in 2030. It has also set a goal of carbon neutrality by 2045.

#5 – Honda Motor Company

2021 Hybrid Vehicle Revenue: $123.8 billion

The second Japanese automaker on our list is known for its fuel-efficient and reliable cars perfect for tackling modern mobility challenges. Honda‘s hybrid journey dates back to 1999 when it unveiled the two-seater Insight Hybrid hatchback.

Some of Honda‘s most popular hybrids today include:

  • Honda Accord Hybrid midsize sedan
  • Honda CR-V Hybrid small crossover SUV
  • Honda Insight Hybrid compact sedan

Honda is working to enhance its hybrid systems so that electric motors play a greater role powering the vehicle. By 2030, the company intends for EVs and fuel cell electric cars to comprise 100% of its vehicle sales in North America.

#4 – BMW Group

2021 Hybrid Vehicle Revenue: $131.61 billion

Germany‘s revered luxury vehicle manufacturer first introduced a plug-in hybrid option on its 7 Series luxury sedan back in 2009. Its current diverse range of "electrified" hybrid models includes sedans, SUVs and sports cars.

Some popular hybrid BMW models are:

  • BMW X5 hybrid SUV
  • BMW 530e hybrid sedan
  • BMW 330e hybrid sport sedan
  • BMW 745Le hybrid luxury sedan

By 2023, BMW plans to offer hybrid options on all core model series. The company is also working on fuel cell vehicles powered by hydrogen.

#3 – Ford Motor Company

2021 Hybrid Vehicle Revenue: $136.3 billion

This iconic American automaker launched its first hybrid SUV in 2004 with the Escape Hybrid. While Ford has discontinued some earlier hybrid models like the C-Max and Fusion hybrid sedans, its current lineup includes:

  • Ford Escape Hybrid small SUV
  • Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid
  • Ford Maverick compact hybrid pickup truck
  • Ford Explorer hybrid midsize SUV
  • Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring plug-in hybrid luxury SUV

Ford is investing over $50 billion into electric vehicle development through 2026. Hybrid models will serve as a stepping stone as the company transitions to its all-electric future.

#2 – Mercedes-Benz AG

2021 Hybrid Vehicle Revenue: $151 billion

The inventors of the automobile have leveraged over 135 years of innovation to develop cutting-edge hybrid technology. Mercedes-Benz unveiled its first hybrid concept car back in 1906!

Today, the esteemed German luxury brand offers plug-in hybrid variants across its lineup including:

  • Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 de plug-in hybrid SUV
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 e plug-in hybrid SUV
  • Mercedes-Benz S 580 e hybrid luxury sedan
  • Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance plug-in hybrid

By 2030, plug-in hybrids and EVs will make up over 50% of Mercedes‘ total car sales worldwide.

#1 – Toyota Motor Corporation

2021 Hybrid Vehicle Revenue: $256.7 billion

And topping off our list is the world‘s largest producer of hybrid vehicles: Toyota. The Japanese giant is an absolute pioneer when it comes to mainstream hybrid cars.

In 1997, Toyota launched the very first mass-produced hybrid vehicle – the iconic Prius hatchback. Since then, Toyota hybrids have become ubiquitous, providing a eco-friendly solution for millions of drivers worldwide. Over 16 million Toyota hybrids have been sold globally.

Some best-selling Toyota hybrids include:

  • Toyota Prius compact hatchback
  • Toyota RAV4 Hybrid compact crossover
  • Toyota Camry midsize hybrid sedan
  • Toyota Highlander SUV hybrid
  • Lexus RX luxury SUV hybrid

This list doesn‘t even scratch the surface of Toyota‘s diverse hybrid offerings catering to all types of budgets and lifestyles! As consumer adoption continues rising exponentially, expect more automakers to take cues from the hybrid vehicle pioneer.


The Road Ahead…

The top hybrid manufacturers profiled above collectively produce millions of fuel-efficient gas-electric vehicles that serve as an accessible stepping stone into the electric future.

While Tesla usually dominates EV-related headlines, long-established OEMs like Toyota and Ford boast unrivaled manufacturing expertise and global distribution networks prime to capitalize on climbing hybrid demand.

As battery costs keep falling, plug-in hybrids blending extended electric driving range with gas backup offer the best of both worlds to eco-conscious drivers wanting to ditch oil without range anxiety. And they pave the way for eventual widespread EV adoption down the line.

Given the environmental and economical benefits hybrids offer over conventional cars, expect hybrid vehicle manufacturers to thrive as we cruise onto the road to sustainable transportation.


FAQs

Which is the best-selling hybrid vehicle?

The Toyota Prius is globally the most popular hybrid, having sold over 7 million units total since its launch in 1997.

Which hybrid vehicles have the highest electric-only driving range?

The longest EV range hybrid currently available belongs to the Polestar 1, which offers 52 miles of electric driving capability. Other top options include the Honda Clarity with 47 miles range and Toyota RAV4 Prime with 42 miles.

Which countries purchase the most hybrid vehicles?

The United States purchases the highest number of hybrids, followed by Japan and then European countries like Germany, France and the UK.

Do hybrid cars still require oil changes?

Yes. Though their maintenance needs are lower than conventional vehicles, hybrids still have internal combustion components that need periodic oil changes and tune-ups. However, costs are typically 20% to 30% less.


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