Hybrid Car Sales to Jump 7.6-Fold in 12 Years

By dancurranjr On May 13th, 2009

2010-madza3-mpGlobal sales of hybrid motor vehicles will see a 7.6-fold jump to 3.75 million units during the 12-year period to 2020, a research institute said Friday.

But those of electric vehicles will be limited to 135,000 units even in 2020, as the distance the vehicles can travel per recharge is relatively limited and construction of a necessary network of recharging facilities is unlikely to make substantial progress, Fuji Keizai Co said.

Breaking down the hybrids’ sales projection for 2020 by region, the institute forecasts that sales in North America will come to 1.85 million units, six times higher than 2008, while Japanese sales will amount to 800,000 units, up sevenfold.

Since Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are funneling development resources into efforts to offer affordable hybrids, leading their rivals to scramble to release their own hybrid models, price differences between hybrids and gasoline engine vehicles will likely shrink, it said.

SOURCE: Japan Today

Top 10 Most Popular Hybrid Cars of 2008

By dancurranjr On April 21st, 2009

2010_toyota_priusWhile sales of hybrids may have slowed now that the average retail price of gasoline in Canada has dropped considerably from the high in the summer of 2008 of $1.40 per litre, the results of a Kanetix.ca review of car insurance quotes shows that more people then ever before are looking into eco-friendly options for driving.

Not only have the number of hybrid auto insurance quotes increased in 2008 compared to 2007, but they have more than doubled since 2006.

The most popular hybrids quoted for insurance through www.kanetix.ca in 2008 were:

  • Toyota Prius
  • Honda Civic Hybrid
  • Toyota Camry Hybrid
  • Ford Escape Hybrid
  • Toyota Highlander Hybrid
  • Lexus RX400h
  • Honda Accord Hybrid
  • Nissan Altima 2.5 S Hybrid
  • Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
  • Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid

If you’ve had it with the mostly ups, and the occasional downs of gas prices, and have decided to buy a hybrid, there’s practically something for everyone and the options grow every year.

Hybrid Sales Break Records in 2008

By dancurranjr On April 8th, 2009

hybridlogoBuyers have shown increasing interest in hybrid vehicles during the past few years and 2008 is no exception.  Despite economic downturn, hybrid sales still increased dramatically in 2008.

Consumers want hybrid vehicles.  The numbers prove it.  Amidst slumping vehicle sales, hybrid vehicles still saw gains overall in 2008 compared to sales in the 2007 model year.  Sales of hybrid vehicles in the North American market in 2008 jumped to 372,744 units, an increase of 23.2% over 2007 sales of 302,445 units.

Growth of hybrid sales can be linked to increased production and increased availibility of hybrid vehicles.  Domestic production of hybrid vehicles jumped 131.5% in 2008 as new hybrid models from companies such as Saturn and Nissan hit the market.

Hybrid sales rose in all categories including light trucks.  Light truck hybrids increased 22.5% in 2008 due to increased availibility with new products from Ford and Mercury and hybrid cars increased 23.5%.  SUV hybrid sales also showed an increase for 2008.

Though the automotive market as a whole saw decreased sales, hybrids did not.  Early predictions expected hybrid sales to be higher than they were in 2008, but the economic downturn caused hybrids to fall short of the goal.  However, an increase of 23.2% during the tough economic times is certainly respectable.

2008 marks the fourth consecutive year of increased hybrid sales in the North American market since the introduction of the Ward’s survey in 2005.  With more hybrids on the way, 2009 may mark the fifth consecutive year.

SOURCE: All Cars Electric

Honda’s Hybrid Insight Sells Briskly Japan

By dancurranjr On March 15th, 2009

2010_honda_insight_hybridOrders for the hybrid Insight have totaled 18,000 since it hit the Japanese auto market about a month ago, outpacing Honda’s target and underlining the success of the new affordable and ecological vehicle, the company said Tuesday.

The brisk demand for the gas-electric hybrid is a rare piece of good news for Honda Motor Co. as the auto industry grapples with plunging global demand. Honda, Japan’s second biggest automaker, was hoping for the Insight’s monthly sales to reach 5,000 vehicles.

The Insight starts at 1.89 million yen ($19,000) in Japan and will sell for under $20,000 in the U.S., the cheapest hybrid on the commercial market. The Insight goes on sale in April in the U.S., and March in Europe.

Oil prices have tumbled from their peak last July, detracting from the possible appeal of gas-sipping hybrids. But the Insight is drawing a wide-range of buyers to the showroom, according to Tokyo-based Honda

The Insight was the top-selling hybrid for February in the ranking of new vehicle registrations in Japan, totaling 4,906, or No. 10 among all hybrid and regular models, even though it wasn’t on sale for the full month.

That outpaced the Prius hybrid from Toyota Motor Corp., at No. 12, with 4,524 registered for the month, and cumulatively the best-selling hybrid model.

Details of the Insight’s overseas pricing are still being finalized. But it’s cheaper than the Prius, at $22,000 in the U.S. and 2.3 million yen in Japan.

Toyota, which sold 285,700 Prius cars worldwide last year, is introducing a remodeled Prius in May, which is bigger and has a more powerful engine than the current Prius, and likely to be more expensive.

Japanese media have speculated that Toyota may continue selling the old Prius even after the remodeled version goes on sale — an unusual move for an automaker — to compete against the cheaper Insight.

Toyota has refused to comment on the report. But it is almost certain that the competition among hybrid offerings will intensify this year.

Last month, Honda chose a new president and chief executive Takanobu Ito, who has a career in engineering, to press ahead with innovations and prepare for long-term growth.

Toyota has also recently tapped a new president but sought inspiration from its founding family roots, selecting Akio Toyoda, the founder’s grandson.

Japanese automakers are faring better than their U.S. rivals. Honda especially has managed to avoid forecasting the red ink expected at Toyota and Nissan Motor Co. Honda is expecting 80 billion yen ($809 million) in profit for the fiscal year ending March 31.

SOURCE: International Herald Tribune

Consumer Hybrid Vehicle Market to Drive Ahead Post-Recession

By dancurranjr On March 14th, 2009

hybridlogoConsumers have come to understand the simple benefits of hybrid vehicles over the last decade or so: they use less fuel and emit less pollution than standard cars. Just as the market should start taking off, however, the global economic meltdown has stunted the its growth for at least the next year.

The economic crisis has hurt automotive markets; car sales have slowed, auto dealers can’t obtain financing for new showroom vehicles, and major manufacturers have had to beg for government bailouts to keep from going out of business. Once the economy begins to recover, fuel prices will start to rise as well, which will push consumers to seek more fuel-efficient means of transportation; the result will be growing demand for hybrid and other alternative-fuel vehicles. Luckily, automakers and automotive component suppliers are working on advancements in hybrid powertrain and battery technologies that will make hybrid light vehicles for consumers increasingly fuel-efficient, clean and quiet.

NextGen Research, in its report “Consumer Hybrid Vehicles: Series, Parallel, Mild, Full Parallel and Assist Hybrid Cars”, forecasts the market for consumer hybrid vehicles will grow slightly from the 550,000 units sold worldwide in 2008 to just over 600,000 units in 2009. However, the report observes that once the economy starts to rebound in 2010, so will the consumer hybrid vehicle market, which will grow to nearly 2 million vehicles in 2013. The US will continue to account for more than half of global consumer hybrid vehicle sales, in unit terms, over the forecast period, as it has every year since 2007 (when sales were a dismal 352,000); by 2013, the US market will see a million hybrids sold.

Says Larry Fisher, Research Director of NextGen Research, “At its simplest, hybrid technology just means you have more than one method of propulsion in the same car, often an internal combustion engine and a battery-powered electric motor. At low speeds, the electric motor drives the vehicle, using no fuel and emitting no harmful pollutants at all. If you’re only driving in the city, it’s possible the only time your car uses any fuel is when it has to recharge the battery.”

SOURCE: Nextgen