With more and more environmental issues becoming headlines, the integration of that thought in major choices such as purchasing vehicles become more paramount in the marketplace. There are increasing numbers of purchasers opting for green vehicles as their transportation of choice.
This has translated to an increase in demand and number of units purchased in 2013. This comes as a watershed moment as the very first hybrids were introduced in the late 90’s, yet were only given serious thought twenty years later. There are many reasons that lead to the long delayed integration and acceptance of hybrids are the higher costs, technological demands, and many other factors.
This change in paradigm has been observed by the research firm Mintel, as it observes the sales of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric cars reached a total of 440,000 units for 2012. This is a jump of 73% from the figures found in 2011. This increase was still quite high, even if there was a slowdown during November 2012. The major automakers are expecting to sell about 50,000 units as a whole for this year.
Aside from this environmental consciousness, other factors fueled the increase in demand. These include the increasing number of options and varieties of alternative fuel cars made available in the market in 2011. Mintel notes that there are nearly four times as many plug-in and electric car models available in 2012 alone. Some carmakers had just three models in 2011 but now have eleven separate models in 2012.
According to Mintel automotive analyst Collin Bird, “New midsize hybrid models, such as the Toyota Prius V and the Chevrolet Malibu Eco, have proven popular with consumers, in particular families, who want to buy green without sacrificing other features that fit their lifestyles.”
Bird added that the demand for alternative fuel cars would just continue on its growth in the near future by saying, “The segment will grow even further in 2013, with the launch of several new models, including the full Ford Fusion Hybrid series and the Honda Accord Hybrid, which will fulfill a wider variety of needs then conventional compact hybrids. Midsize plug-in hybrids will also enter the mainstream in 2013, with the introduction of the Ford Fusion Energi and the Honda Accord Plug-In, which will further improve mainstream acceptance of this, still, fairly novel powertrain segment.”
One of the fastest growing markets is the younger generation that is environmentally conscious as to their carbon footprint. Mintel found that nearly 34% of the purchasers in 2012 were aged between 25 to 34. Many in this age bracket believe that it would be easy to get their returns on the investment in the hybrid car as gas prices continue to rise. The trend is further expected to rise in 2013 and the years to come as innovations and improvements in the technology and design continue for the hybrid market.