Alternative Powertrain Vehicles Do Well in First Six Months

Automotive News - July 16, 2012

Vehi­cles with alter­na­tive pow­er sources have done very well in the first six months of 2012, ben­e­fit­ing from mar­ket force changes seen in the larg­er US auto mar­ket includ­ing high­er gaso­line prices. The sales trend comes at a time when automak­ers and deal­ers are see­ing cars do bet­ter than trucks – over­all, small cars are doing well along with hybrids, mini­vans, and tra­di­tion­al mid-size SUVs while big SUVs floun­der.

Alter­na­tive pow­er­train vehi­cles – tra­di­tion­al hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and ful­ly elec­tric vehi­cles, post­ed sales growth of 71% through June. The Toy­ota Prius led the seg­ment with 126,654 unit sales, a 90% increase over last year, ben­e­fit­ing from post-Japan quake recov­ery and hav­ing sev­er­al new mod­els under the Prius name­plate. The Chevy Volt has also ben­e­fit­ed from fuel price volatil­i­ty with its 2012 sales. Plug-in elec­tric vehi­cles have a long way to go to reach high vol­ume sales, but they are find­ing an audi­ence. Hybrid tech­nolo­gies could be a chan­nel for more of that growth, such as plug-in hybrids like the Volt and its com­peti­tors find­ing inter­est­ed buy­ers.



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