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Used Car Buyers Charged Up about EVs and Hybrids

Top three fastest selling used cars in U.S. are electrics.

by on Jul.22, 2016

The Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid is the fastest-selling used car in America through May.

Looking for a good used car? Well, if you find a hybrid or an EV you like, don’t dawdle on buying it because it’ll be off the lot before you know it.

According to, five of the top 10 fastest selling used cars in the U.S. in the first half of this year were hybrids or full electrics, including the top three movers. Perhaps even more astonishing, only one of the top 10 is an American car.

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Overall, found that one- to three-year-old used cars took an average of 42.4 days to sell. The top 10 fastest selling cars, however, were much faster—ranging from just 19.7 days on the market to 29.4 days. (more…)

Hybrid, Battery-Car Sales Slumped in First Half of 2015

Demand shifts from small, efficient, to big and powerful.

by on Jul.02, 2015

Honda Civic Hybrid production ended last month.

At the beginning of 2014, when fuel prices seemed headed for new record highs, U.S. shoppers couldn’t drive off fast enough with small cars and alternative-power vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf.

But with fuel costs down by at least $1 a gallon across the country, manufacturers have been struggling to sell those same, high-mileage vehicles. That’s forced them to stack up new incentives on the hood and, in some cases, slash production.

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That poses a challenge for the industry as it faces new fuel economy mandates for 2016 – with even tougher targets phasing in from now until 2025. Even so, automakers show little sign of retreating from the aggressive plans they’ve put in place to introduce new battery-based vehicles and other clean alternatives.


Nissan Becomes First to Sell 100,000 Electric Vehicles

Nissan Leaf now market’s battery best-seller.

by on Jan.21, 2014

British dentist Dr. Brett Garner bought the 100,000th Nissan Leaf at the urging of his wife.

Nissan has crossed a significant threshold becoming the first manufacturer to ever sell 100,000 plug-based vehicles.

Just over three years after launching the Nissan Leaf, the maker delivered the milestone battery sedan to a dentist in the British community of Fareham, about two hours southwest of London.

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“I have chosen my Nissan Leaf because I am very interested in its running costs,” said Dr. Brett Garner, a father of three. “The cost of ownership such as maintenance, insurance and charging also convinced my wife. She had the experience of driving 500 miles in a borrowed LEAF and the low cost was remarkable. So she was converted and insisted that we had a Leaf.”


Ghosn Concedes Nissan/Renault Won’t Make EV Goals

Blames lack of infrastructure for missing 1.5-million vehicle target.

by on Nov.11, 2013

Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn said he believes a lack of infrastructure is to blame for missing his target of selling 1.5-million electric vehicles.

Nissan/Renault won’t meet Chief Carlos Ghosn’s ambitious goal of selling 1.5 million electric vehicles by 2016. In fact, it will not even be close.

The Japanese/French automotive alliance will miss that target by more than 1 million vehicles as it has sold about 120,000 EVs, most of them Nissan Leafs. Ghosn now believes it will take much longer to reach the 1.5-million unit goal.

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“We will not be there. At the speed right now, I’m seeing it more four or five years later,” he said in an interview with Financial Times. During the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, Ghosn said he believed that EVs would account for 10% of all new vehicle sales at some point in the future with the right level of support from governments in China, the U.S. and Europe. (more…)

Hybrid and Battery Vehicle Sales Finally Gaining Momentum

But getting buyers back is a problem.

by on Apr.22, 2013

2013 Toyota Prius again dominated the hybrid and advance battery vehicle segment in 2012.

It’s Earth Day, and if you’re thinking about something more environmentally friendly when it’s next time to trade in, you’re not alone.  While sales of “green” cars are often linked to the rise and fall of fuel prices, there’s been a slow but unmistakable increase in demand, especially for hybrids and other battery vehicles which set an all-time record in 2012.

Products like the ever-popular Toyota Prius accounted for 3.1% of the overall U.S. new car market last year, reports data tracking service Experian Automotive, a 49% year-over-year jump from the 2.2% market share in 2011. The downside is that only about one in three hybrid owners buy another gas-electric model when they trade in, according to other industry reports.

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“Hybrid vehicle owners have long been perceived as environmentally conscience consumers,” said Melinda Zabritski, Experian’s director of automotive credit. “While they may have made the vehicle purchase due to caring for the environment, our research shows that hybrid owners are economically minded as well. Hybrid owners tend to have outstanding credit histories, which also has enabled them to obtain financing at lower rates than typical consumers.”


Ghosn Predicts “Milestone Year” for Nissan Leaf

Nissan/Renault chief also sees strong U.S. recovery but more troubles for Europe.

by on Mar.28, 2013

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn at the 2013 NY Auto Show.

Put on the defensive by the slow ramp-up of the maker’s battery cars, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn put on a confident face during an appearance at the New York Auto Show and promised this will be a “milestone year” for the Leaf electric vehicle.

With the maker’s second battery-car plant now operating in Smyrna, Tennessee, the executive said inventory is up and demand rapidly growing.

Ghosn, meanwhile, offered a mixed assessment of the global automotive market, pronouncing a bright outlook for the U.S. but more troubles ahead for Europe. He also offered a cautiously upbeat outlook for China.

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“This is going to be a milestone year for Leaf,” Ghosn said, maintaining the positive outlook that has positioned him as the most upbeat of the industry’s top executives when it comes to the prospects for vehicle electrification.  He continues to forecast that up to 10% of the vehicles sold by decade’s end will use some sort of battery power.


Global Nissan Leaf Sales Charge Past 50,000 Mark – But January Demand Plunges

Critical year ahead as Nissan launches U.S. battery-car plant.

by on Feb.15, 2013

Nissan will reduce the price on a new version of its Leaf battery car by as much as $6,000.

What could be a critical year for the battery car market has gotten off to a shaky start. Demand for a number of the most familiar models took an unexpected skid in January, notably the Nissan Lead, whose U.S. sales fell by more than half from December.

Where that might discourage some manufacturers, however, Nissan officials have been sounding ever more upbeat.  They dismiss the last month’s numbers as a temporary lull and insist the pace will pick up now that they’ve launched production at a new battery-car plant in Tennessee.

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And they stress that demand is already on the rise in other key markets. In fact, the maker notes, they’ve now sold more than 50,000 of the pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, since the launch of the Nissan Leaf in late 2010.


Chevy Volt Sales Short-Circuit

Volt falls behind both Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius Plug-in.

by on Dec.04, 2012

Sales of the Chevrolet Volt, left, fell behind the Nissan Leaf for the first time this year.

After charging up for the first 10 months of the year, sales of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid unexpectedly short-circuited last month.

Volumes fell to barely half of September and October levels – ensuring that Chevy will end 2012 selling barely half as many Volts as it had originally hoped for this year. The plug-in’s sales for November fell behind those of two key rivals, the Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicle and Toyota’s Prius Plug-in. But all three models appeared to lose some momentum despite the overall surge of the U.S. car market.

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Even so, Chevrolet officials downplayed last month’s weak performance and ascribed it to inventory issues. The maker has twice halted production at the Volt plant in Detroit since spring, most recently between mid-September and mid-October to re-tool the facility to also handle production of the next-generation Chevrolet Impala.


Nissan Will Miss Leaf Sales Targets, Says Ghosn

Maker still upbeat about EV opportunities.

by on Nov.16, 2012

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn shown with the Infiniti LE battery-car concept.

A day after declaring Nissan’s commitment to automotive electrification, CEO Carlos Ghosn acknowledged the maker will fall short of its admittedly ambitious 2012 sales goals for the first of those battery cars, the Nissan Leaf.

After a sharp downturn early this year, however, sales of the mass-market electric vehicle took a sharp turn upward last month – and Nissan is expecting to see an even bigger shift in momentum when it opens its all-new U.S. battery car assembly line next month.

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Nonetheless, “The forecast we have given ourselves for the year will not be reached,” Ghosn acknowledged during an interview on Bloomberg Television.

The maker narrowly missed its goal last year, with U.S. sales of 9,679 Leaf battery cars, but it will fall even further behind for 2012. Through October, demand was down 15.6%, at 6,791 of the vehicles. But last month saw the first big surge of the month, sales climbing 86% to 1,579.


Are Battery Car Sales Charging Up?

Chevy Volt to set a record in August

by on Aug.30, 2012

Chevrolet Volt sales are gaining momentum -- apparently driven by the 2013 model's ability to get an HOV-lane sticker in California.

With the second anniversary of the launch of two critical battery-electric vehicles fast approaching, many observers have been questioning whether the public has been turned off to the costly technology.  There’s no question that the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf got off to a slow start.  And, when you add in less advanced battery technology, namely gas-electric hybrids, demand has clearly slowed since fuel prices hit their April peak.

Yet, despite recent, largely negative headlines highlighting plant shutdowns, recalls and other setbacks, there are signs that battery car sales may be charging up, after all.

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Perhaps the biggest sign of a turnaround has come from Chevrolet which is reporting that it expects sales of the Volt to top 2,500 by the time it closes the books on August.  That would be a tripling of sales compared to year-earlier levels – and a 10% jump from Volt’s previous record, the 2,289 sold in March of this year.