Market for Hybrid, Plug-In Cars Continues to Grow

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Hybrid car sales totaled 46,327 vehicles in March, with Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) grabbing just over 68% of the total, with sales of more than 31,512 Toyota and Lexus models sold. Toyota’s plug-in electric vehicles sold about 920 units.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) sold about 6,700 hybrids and another 969 all-electric vehicles. The Chevy Volt from General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) sold 1,478 units in March, a year-over-year decline of 9.1% compared with March 2012.

Plug-in electric vehicles, like the Chevy Volt and the Model S from Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), accounted for just 0.53% of total vehicle sales in March. That was up more than 84% from March 2012, but still a trifling number compared with total auto sales of 1.45 million for the month.

In 2012, sales of hybrids rose 61% over 2011 sales, and as a percentage of total sales, hybrid sales rose 13%. Overall, hybrid cars comprised 3% of total auto sales in 2012, according to HybridCars.com, up from 2.1% of all sales in 2011. For the first three months of 2013, hybrid sales are up 14.2% compared with the first quarter of 2012, and sales of plug-in cars are up 6.3%.

New models are entering the market, and that is helping boost hybrid sales. That is particularly true of plug-ins, but also holds true for the hybrids. As HybridCars.com notes, “hybrid sales are performing above the market average, both in terms of growth rate and share.”

The HybridCars.com report is available here.

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