No matter the roller coaster ride gas prices take us on, or perhaps due to it, consumers are steadily purchasing hybrid and electric vehicles. Highlights of the last year in electric and hybrid cars include a 164% increase in June 2012 sales, compared to June 2011. Folks at Kelley Blue Book expect hybrid and electric vehicle (EV) sales to slow a bit — but not nosedive — as gas prices decline.
Movers and shakers in the alternative-energy car category include Lexus and Chevrolet. The Blue Book Market Report highlights a 500% increase in sales of the Lexus CT200h year-over-year. The Chevy Volt had a 200% year-over-year increase in sales. The Volt may be more popular because of its longer driving range — 379 miles; however, the Volt is not entirely electric, a sticking point for some of the EV hardliners.
Toyota had a big year with its Prius, as well. Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book, said Prius sales surged “more than 300 percent from June of last year. The Prius has been in high demand since the introduction of the subcompact Prius c and wagon-esque Prius v. Sales numbers for the Prius look especially strong due to the inventory shortages that plagued Toyota at this time last year.”
Not all EVs and hybrids had stellar years, though. The Blue Book reported the Honda CR-Z, Honda Insight, and Nissan Leaf had a bummer of a year, failing to reach the same figures from 2011.
Check out Zach’s nifty Car Answers / EV Facts page for a side-by-side comparison of what’s on the market.
Source: Kelley Blue Book
Chelsea is a former newspaper reporter who has spent the past few years teaching English in Poland, Finland and Japan. When she wasn't teaching or writing, Chelsea was traveling Europe and Asia, sampling spicy street food along the way.