Hybrid Vehicles 2012: Sales Were Up 40 Percent


Green Car Reports - April 22, 2013

The growth in hybrid vehicles 2012 sales indicate growing buyer interest, according to Experian Automotive, though still a small percentage of cars sold.

The Experian Automotive study indicates who is buying a hybrid.

Just how popular are hybrid cars? 40 percent more in 2012 than in 2011, according to the latest study from Experian Automotive.

In fact, a little more than that–40.9 percent to be precise, with overall market share increasing from 2.2 percent to 3.1 percent in a single year.

It’s a stark indication of the hybrid car’s relentless transformation from eco-themed curiosity to mainstream car choice. It also reflects just how well the average hybrid assimilates into an owner’s life, requiring no day-to-day compromise while it goes about saving them money on gas.

Toyota has been particularly adept at exploiting this market, having recently sold its 5 millionth hybrid vehicle worldwide. It’s seen the Prius, once dismissed as a toy for celebrities wanting to appear green, become California’s highest-selling vehicle.

Experian does reveal that total hybrid numbers still make up little over 1 percent of all the vehicles on U.S. roads, but it’s a number increasing further every year.

Some of the company’s other numbers make for interesting reading.

For example, the gender split is fairly even, if slightly in favor of women–53 percent of adults who live in a hybrid household are female.

It’s a young market too, with 25-34 year olds perhaps more eco-concious than their parents–this age group is 16 percent more likely to live in a household that owns or leases a hybrid.

Experian’s credit information has also turned up some interesting numbers. Consumers purchasing a hybrid vehicle tend to have a better credit score than buyers of other vehicles–790 next to a national average of 755.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Toyota’s Prius tops the list of hybrid vehicles bought on finance in 2012, and it took 37.2 percent of the hybrid market. Camry, Prius V and Prius C followed, while the Chevy Volt and even Nissan Leaf appear on Experian’s list.