Green Car Sales Continue To Impress Despite Gas Prices

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Declining gas prices seem to not be denting sales of alternative fuel vehicles of late too much. Numbers from a recent Kelley Blue Book report [PDF] suggest so anyhow, indicating a surge of more than 164 percent in dedicated hybrid and other vehicles from this category in June when compared to that time frame last year.

Though it is felt by the folks from Kelley that sales could continue to slow as a result of declining gas prices, it appears for the moment this decline will be relatively mild. Sales are down from March 2012, which saw an all time high 35,687 vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt sold at a time when the average national gas price was $3.85. For June, the volume of cars hovered around 23,778, with national gas prices averaging $3.54.

Prius c

image via Toyota

Leading the pack in this segment, not surprisingly, was the Toyota Prius hybrid family, with sales jumping more than 300 percent since June of last year. This has to do in part with the relatively recent introduction of the Prius c and wagon-like Prius v. Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus also saw significant uptake in its CT 200h hybrid.

As we’ve talked about before, the Chevy Volt seems to be easily beating out the Nissan Leaf month over month of late. For 2012, Kelly said, this equates to an outsell ratio of nearly 3 to 1, despite the fact the price point is higher for the Volt than that of the Leaf.

Probably the best news out of all though for fans of these type of cars is that sales of alternative fuel vehicles, in general, look to remain stronger than in previous years. This suggests the category has long term staying power.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.

    • jimmyc1955

      I think the sales of electric vehicles is dictated by fashion and peer pressure.  That is illustrated by the fact that Volts sell to the rich – per GMs’ own admission.  I think the Prius has a loyal following but it is unlikely to become a major seller relative to the gas powered cars until the economics of hybrids improve.  For the $15,000 difference between a Volt and a Cruze (essentially the same car sans batteries, costly electronics, battery cooling systems . . . ) will buy a lot of gas. And if they buyers only drive short distances the difference actually worsens for Volt owners. With a fill up every 2 weeks on a Cruze, at $50 a fillup would take over 10 years to make up the buying difference – and the Cruze will likely still be there in 10 years – it is highly unlikely the volt will.