Neither gassers nor rail jobs

Believe it or not — and I had to look at it twice — more than half a million alt-fuel vehicles (hybrids, electrics, diesels, whatever) were sold in the States last year. This is, I note for the sake of completeness, slightly less than the number of F-series pickups that Ford sold, but it’s a 60-percent increase from last year, which suggests that a fair number of converts are being made.

About 240,000 of these cars bore the Toyota Prius badge, which now adorns four different vehicles, including a plug-in. Volkswagen — not counting dreamy sister Audi — mailed us over 80,000 diesels. In fact, only one automaker is really faltering in this niche market:

Honda remained the only automaker truly struggling in the alt-fuel field, with December sales dropping 40 percent from a year earlier to 1,084 units. While Civic Hybrid sales were down slightly, demand for the CR-Z and Insight plunged.

The entire Honda alt-fuel line accounted for just over 17,000 sales. Even the much-maligned Chevy Volt did better than that (23,000).

(Title source.)


  1. jsallison »

    8 January 2013 · 10:39 pm

    I considered a CNG Civic, but at 6’1 and a little that is so not happening. My knees and ankles were coughing up hairballs in the showroom. Show me a CNG Accord and I’mna all over it. ‘Specially since the Loves between Lawton and OKC now have CNG pumps.

  2. McGehee »

    9 January 2013 · 8:37 am

    The Prius jingle is one of those that makes me play old rock songs from my iTunes library.

  3. Charles Pergiel »

    9 January 2013 · 10:22 am

    I dun like Hondas. I think they’re overpriced. People buy Hondas because they don’t want to know how they work. They want something reliable, not some new fangled thing-a-ma-bob that will leave them stranded by the side of the road. That’s my theory anyway, and I’m stickin’ to it.

  4. nightfly »

    9 January 2013 · 12:33 pm

    Well, part of this is also that the Fit EV model only got a limited release in the States, and it was lease-only. As they work out the kinks and discover what sells, I expect that it, and other models incorporating improved technology, will be rolled out to the whole country and those numbers will go up.

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