More Americans are skipping out on gas-guzzling SUV's and buying up compact cars.
Alternative fuel vehicles were the fastest growing U.S. car segment in 2012, according to research research by Mintel. The report showed alternative fuel vehicles sales, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, reaching nearly 440,000 units this year, up 73 percent from the same period of time last year.
"The 'live for today' mentality that prompted the rise of SUVs has disappeared," said Colin Bird, automotive analyst at Mintel. "Consumers today demand products that promise protection and durability. There is a new mentality that emphasizes preparing for and protecting against potential future disasters such as another oil shock or even just steadily rising prices at the pump."
Bird added that with the release of models like the Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Malibu Eco hav allowed consumers not to sacrifice on lifestyle. As new 2013 models like the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Honda Accord Hybrid come out, the market is poised to grow even further next year.
Many of these fuel efficient cars have been making the news all year for their outstanding qualities. Just recently Cars.com put the Toyota Prius on is Best of 2013 Award list, placing it as one of top cars for the upcoming year.