And that’s the bad news.
Apparently, 48,364 green cars (primarily hybrid and electric vehicles, but also green-ish diesels) were sold in the US in February 2013 (est.), 15% more than the 41,933 green cars sold in February 2012. While that does obviously mean that sales increased, it also means that the growth decreased — there was 57% year-over-year green car growth in January, and 44% year-over-year green car growth in December.
Anyone who follows “green car” sales, however, knows that the Toyota Prius dominates. Where Prius sales go, overall hybrid and electric vehicle sales go. It is the #3 car in global auto sales. So, basically, what the above means is that Prius sales dropped off a bit. AutoblogGreen writes:
“While Prius C compact and Prius Plug-in sales surged from February 2012, just after the two variants were introduced, the standard Prius Liftback sales dropped 31 percent from last year, while Prius V wagon sales plunged 38 percent. Over all, Americans bought 17,812 Prius units, down 14 percent from a year earlier.”
Overall, Toyota green car sales were down 1.7%, saved a bit by an 11% increase in Toyota Camry Hybrid sales, a 20% increase in Lexus hybrid sales, and a record 1,361 Avalon Hybrid sales. Here’s a look at more details regarding Toyota’s green car sales:
Toyota wasn’t the only big name that saw a drop in sales, however. Top green car competitor Honda also saw a drop. At 1,388 vehicles sold in February 2013, they were down 30% compared to a year prior. The Honda Civic Hybrid and the Honda Insight each saw a 40% drop in sales. While sales have only just begun, only 15 units of the highly efficient Honda Fit EV were sold in February. Here are more details on Honda’s sales:
It ain’t all bad news, of course. As stated above, overall green car sales are up 15%. It was basically just a bad month for Japanese EV and hybrid car companies.
US-based Ford saw its green car sales nearly quadruple, reaching 7,433 sales in February 2013. Here are some details for its EVs and hybrids:
- Ford Fusion Hybrid – 3,806 (second only to the Prius in the hybrid category, and 243% higher than its February 2012 sales of 1,110)
- Ford C-Max Hybrid — 2,849 (wasn’t sold in February 2012)
- Ford C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrid — 334 (wasn’t sold in February 2012)
- Ford Focus Electric — 158 (wasn’t sold in February 2012)
- Ford Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid — 119 (wasn’t sold in February 2012)
- Lincoln MKZ Hybrid — 177 (58% down from the 419 sold in February 2012)
- Ford Escape Hybrid — 0 (down from 434 in February 2012)
US-based GM also got a boost. Its leading plug-in hybrid, the Chevy Volt, had a 59% increase in sales, reaching 1,626 in February 2013. The Chevrolet Malibu eAssist and Buick Regal ”mild hybrids” also did quite well (258% and 74% greater year-over-year sales, respectively, with 1,254 and 375 sales). More details:
Volkswagen‘s green diesels also increased in sales. They were up to 7,046 sales in February 2013, 8.25% higher than the 6,509 sold in February 2012.
Here are some numbers from other minor players in this space:
- Nissan Leaf — 36.61% increase (635 Leafs sold in February 2013 vs. 478 sold in February 2012)
- Mitsubishi i — 666% increase (337 sold in February 2013 vs. 44 sold in February 2012)
- Audi — 7.95% increase (421 units of its A3 TDI and Q7 TDI sold in February 2013 vs. 390 sold in February 2012)
- Porsche — 78% decrease (37 of its Cayenne S Hybrid and Panamera Hybrid sold in February 2013 vs. 171 sold in February 2012)
Of course, Tesla vehicles (in particular, sales of the Model S) were not included in the overall comparison above. Tesla, with its reservation model and tendency to do just about everything differently, doesn’t release monthly sales figures. However, it says that it has gotten up to a production of about 400 vehicles a week. Let’s hope it starts sharing more specific numbers soon-ish.
Not including the companies mentioned above, here are the totals AutoblogGreen came up with:
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.