The Electric Drive Transportation Association recently issued its May 2013 Electric Drive Sales Dashboard, which indicated that there were a record number of sales of hybrid and plug-in vehicles across the country in May.
According to the report, automakers sold 48,796 hybrids in May. It also indicated that year-to-date totals of hybrid sales are at 212,711, up 14 percent when compared to the same period of time last year. As for plug-in vehicles, automakers sold 7,754 last month. This year's total of plug-ins sold hit 32,305, while the overall market hit 103,220 in just two years.
EDTA President Brian Wynne said surpassing the 100,000 mile mark is a significant milestone for this young industry.
The report noted that May 2013's plug-in sales was more than double than those in May 2012.
"With constantly advancing technology and building consumer confidence, the electric drive industry is well positioned to carry this momentum forward," Wynne said. "It's no surprise that gasoline prices are spiking again, but now motorists have real alternatives to the monopoly fuel. These cars use far less gasoline than their combustion engine counterparts - or no gas at all. Not to mention they're incredibly fun to drive."
Hybrids dominated in 2012
â€‹WardsAuto reported at the begninning of the year that U.S. consumers bought 427,605 hybrids in 2012, up from 261,507 the year before. In addition, hybrids outsold a number of segments for the first time, including midsize luxury cars, small cross/utility vehicles and each of the three SUV segments.
WardsAuto noted that General Motors, Ford, Honda, BMW, Hyundai and Mercedes all recently entered the hybrid market and Acura, Infiniti, Honda, Nissan and Subaru will soon follow.
Another report titled Auto Industry Sets Sights on Alternative Power, conducted by Thomson Reuters, showed that alternative-power related patents increased in 2011 by 182 percent compared to 2006. This study indicates how much research and development automakers are investing into types of technologies.
"With stringent new fuel economy standards introduced in the U.S. that require global auto manufacturers to double their average mileage requirements, car companies have gotten very serious about alternative power," said Bob Stembridge, an intellectual property analyst at Thomson Reuters and author of the report. "The aggressive R&D efforts of some of the leading manufacturers suggest that consumer options for alternative power will grow considerably in the coming decade."
The report showed that Toyota was first in the industry for the inventions, accounting for 1,901. The automaker was followed by Honda, which had 587 inventions.