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Hybrid vehicles on the rise

Reporter: Bradley Blackburn

NEW YORK (CBS) - A major effort to put more electric cars on the road is slowing down a little, while another type of eco-friendly vehicle is grabbing the pole position.

Electric cars are once again center stage at the New York International Auto Show.

The Kia EV9 took home the World Car of the Year award and you'll find Electric Vehicles (EV) of all shapes and sizes on display.

There's even a track where people can go for a ride.

Two years ago several automakers promised a major transition to electric.

At first, the public responded and EV sales jumped 83 percent in 2022. But last year that number cooled to 51 percent and that has many manufacturers scaling back production plans.

"A lot of early adopters, really excited about the technology, they bought their vehicles and the next phase is moving to the mass market and that's where things are going to slow down because when you look at the mass market they definitely have more questions," shared Jessica Caldwell, Head of Insights, Edmunds.

EVs may be hitting a speed bump, but hybrid sales are accelerating.

Hyundai unveiled the new Tuscon, which comes in a hybrid model and Ford is seeing major success with the Hybrid Maverick pick-up.

The gas-saving vehicles are now grabbing a bigger share of the car market.

Motor Trend's Kristen Lee showed us the Hybrid Toyota Prius, named Motor Trend's Car of the Year.

"The future is electric, we're just not at the future yet," stated Kristen Lee, Motor Trend, Senior Features Editor.

Lee says price is a factor. Even with tax incentives EVs typically cost much more than hybrids. And many Americans worry about charging.

"The hybrid is a very good alternative to that and if you need to take that road trip once or twice a year, you can just use the existing gas stations like you always have.," stated Lee.

EV sales are forecast to improve as prices drop and charging options expand. But for now, hybrids are in the lead.

Article Topic Follows: Consumer

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