Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hybrids are Still Hot

New hybrid vehicle registrations went up 38 percent in 2007, bringing the total number to 350,289 according to the automotive research company RL Polk & Co.

Although the growth rate is exciting, hybrids still make up just 2.2 percent U.S. vehicles. The increase is attributed to rising gas prices (good Lord! $3.41 by my house and I know that's cheaper than most places) and the increasing number of
options consumers have in the hybrid market. Now buyers can contemplate a Nissan Altima or a Lexus or a Tahoe, in addition to the Toyota Prius (although the hybrid technology of many SUVs is different than that of a Prius, still requiring a small amount of gasoline and not able to run solely on a battery like "full hybrid").

Another reason for hybrids' hotness is that the technology has proven itself. Consumers trust it. The Prius was the second mass-market hybrid (after the less-attractive Honda Insight) to go on sale nearly a decade ago in 2000 and it's still the best-selling hybrid, making up 51 percent of the hybrid market in 2007.
Polk & Co expects hybrid sales to increase again this year, perhaps as much by 30 percent.

I don't drive a hybrid yet - if you drive one let me know what your experience has been!

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