June 16, 2024


Both Ford CEO Jim Farley and General Motors CEO Mary Barra gave a look at what their respective automakers would be doing in the future regarding hybrid vehicles, and their plans could not be farther apart. Farley sees hybrids as an important piece of the automaker’s long-term strategy, but at the same time, Barra sees them as more of a right-now stopgap. Who is right? I don’t know, man. From Reuters:

“We should stop talking about it as transitional technology,” Farley said of hybrids at a Bernstein conference. “Many of our hybrids in the U.S. are now more profitable than their non-hybrid equivalent,” Farley added.

Plug-in hybrids, which include a small battery that can be used for shorter distances, may not be relevant in a few years, Farley said. However, extended-range hybrids are an important technology for the industry’s future, he said.

Hybrid vehicles, which bridge the divide between gas-powered vehicles and EVs, have experienced a surge in demand over the past year, prompting automakers to scale back on their drive to go electric.

[…]

Ford is aiming to quadruple hybrid sales over the next several years, executives have said. It has pulled back on some of its EV investments and pushed back production of EVs in Canada and the U.S.

Separately, the Ford chief said on Thursday that EVs should not be subsidized, and that automakers should be pushing to profitably produce battery-powered models quickly.

“We believe that we have to get to that fitness level as soon as possible,” Farley said.

Meanwhile, Barra gave an extremely different view of what hybrids will do for the brand and the auto industry as a whole.

Barra said the Detroit automaker will have plug-in hybrids starting in 2027, in response to steeper regulatory requirements, but electric vehicles are where GM sees the market heading.

“It’s not the end game because it’s not zero emission,” Barra said of hybrids at the same conference. “We’re trying to be very smart about how we do that and how we deploy capital there,” she added.

It’s anyone’s guess as to who will end up with the correct strategy regarding hybrids. That being said, if you don’t have the capability of home charging right now, hybrids are an excellent alternative to all-electric vehicles if you ask me.

A version of this article originally appeared on Jalopnik’s The Morning Shift.



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