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Consumers choose fuel efficient normal vehicles over EVs and hybrids

Despite the fact that gas prices are at record levels in many parts of the country, the sales of electric vehicles are still falling. Many consumers are staying away from electric vehicles due to the relatively high cost of entry and range anxiety (in the case of the Nissan Leaf).
Two of the most popular electric vehicles in the country are the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf. The Volt isn't a traditional electric vehicle; rather it's an extended range hybrid that runs on battery power and features a generator to recharge the battery for extended driving. GM says that in the month of April 2012 1,462 Volts were sold, which represents 200% increase from April of 2011 when 493 were sold.
April was the second best month for retail sales of Volt cars since it launched in 2010. Interestingly, the good month for Volt sales comes not long after GM suspended production of the car due to soft demand.

Chevrolet Volt sales are up.
While sales of the Volt were up, the Nissan Leaf saw sales fall 35% with only 370 units sold. Nissan hopes to sell 20,000 Leaf EVs this year, and will have to sell over 2200 monthly to meet that goal.
While electric vehicle sales are down, Ford has a booming business with its fuel-efficient EcoBoost-powered vehicles. Ford has announced that it has started a third shift at the Cleveland plant that builds EcoBoost engines.
The addition of a third shift to the engine building plant will add 250 jobs. However, most of those positions will be filled by employees that are transferring from a different Cleveland engine plant that will be placed on idle later this week.

The 2013 Ford Fusion will offer two EcoBoost four-cylinder engine options.
"Our engine plant in Cleveland is the first and only facility in North America to produce EcoBoost engines, and we are tripling production capacity to meet customers' growing needs for fuel-efficient engines," said Ford Americas President Mark Fields during a celebration with employees at the plant Tuesday. "EcoBoost engines are a key part of our plan to give customers the power of choice — from EcoBoost-powered vehicles and hybrids, to plug-in hybrids and full electrics."
Ford's EcoBoost engine has found its way the under the hood of everything from full-sized trucks to small economy vehicles. EcoBoost engines use a smaller displacement engine with turbochargers for increased power and fuel efficiency. 

Sources: Detroit News, Detroit News

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RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Mint on 5/2/2012 5:06:58 PM , Rating: 2
No, that's the Cruze Eco's highway MPG. Combined is 33MPG, and I'd probably get less due to LA traffic.

But fine, let's consider a gallon a day, 300 times a year. That saves $1200/yr in gas at a cost of $400/yr in electricity. If you own it for 5 years, you save $4k. When you sell it, the next owner will save $3-5k more for it than the Cruze (depending on gas prices), and realizes that the same will be true for the guy after that, though the battery will lose some range. So resale value is maybe $7k more than the Cruze (it's a nicer car, too).

Alternatively, look at the lease rates for the Volt. $2500 down, $350/mo. If you save 25 gallons a month, minus recharge costs, then you'd have to get a car with a <$290/mo equivalent lease rate. Will that car be as nice a drive as the Volt?

A Civic HF (33 MPG combined) with the same CCR costs $294/mo, according to Honda's website. It's really not that stupid at all.

By Jeffk464 on 5/2/2012 5:43:29 PM , Rating: 2
Civic has really been bumped off its position of being the best small car.

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