Steane Klose | Jun 13, 2007

Editors note 13/06/07 - Sales of hybrids in Australia are also scaling new heights and have almost doubled in 2007 when compared to the same time last year, mirroring the trend in the USA.

AutoWeek has reported that over the last 5 months in the US more hybrid vehicles have been sold than ever before in fact sales have risen by 53 percent to a total of 143,700 vehicles.

In a recent survey no less than five presidential candidates claimed that they owned a hybrid…no doubt the only reason being their concern for the environment.

Currently 2.1 percent of all motor vehicle sales in the US are hybrids with the Prius leading the stampede. Prius sales were up by 99.6 percent in 2007 with a total of 76,747 finding new and no doubt eco friendly homes.

The rapid growth in hybrid sales has been largely due to more choice being offered. You can now buy a Camry hybrid or a Saturn Vue Green Line crossover hybrid. There are even SUV hybrids expected to come onto the market later this year in the form of the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Dodge Durango.

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If your have way more money than sense you will be able to buy the Lexus LS600h L hybrid (US$100k+) over the coming months. The money you save on fuel will be more than absorbed by the higher cost of the car but you will be able to boast about your lower CO2 emissions at the next tennis club dinner, while the lights burn brightly at your Nappa Valley ranch…

“Hybrids are bought by people with a high sense of social responsibility and the economic means to express it," AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson told Automotive News in a recent interview. "You need both. The economics don't make sense for the mass market."

A recent J.D. Power and Associates study found that people who consider purchasing a hybrid are expecting a 20mpg increase in fuel efficiency when in fact all they are getting on average is 7.5mpg.

J.D. Power and Associates concluded that there is still a ‘perception gap’ as to what hybrids are capable of and what they can actually accomplish...

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