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Hybrid Sales Leap In April

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On: Fri, May 4, 2012 at 10:04AM | By: Chris Weiss

Hybrid Sales Leap In April

Gas prices are not expected to abate for another month or so. In the meantime, greener cars continue to enjoy a small renaissance. Sales of several prominent hybrids experienced 100 percent leaps last month.

According to Inside Line, sales of Toyota's market-defining hybrid vehicles led a strong month for hybrids in general with a 125 percent leap from April 2010. Toyota sold 32,593 hybrids in all last month and 25,168 Prius models. Toyota's luxury arm Lexus reported a more modest gain of 18 percent for hybrids like the CT-200h.

Part of Toyota's success over a year ago should certainly be attributed to a larger Prius family that now includes the Prius Plug-In, Prius C and Prius V. However, Toyota wasn't the only automaker to see an April spike in hybrid sales. The battered and beleaguered Chevy Volt, which hasn't exactly had a banner year thus far, did enjoy an April to remember. Volt sales increased even more dramatically percentage-wise than Toyota hybrids, leaping by 197 percent to 1,462.

If we believe a recent study that showed that hybrid owners are unlikely to buy a second hybrid, it would seem that there's a lot of new interest in hybrid models. Gas prices have been ascending toward a possible record-breaking high that could eclipse the $4.11 per gallon average set in 2008. Some estimates put prices as high as $5 per gallon by summer while even conservative estimates believe the average could reach $4.25.

The current AAA Fuel Gauge points to a national average for regular gas of $3.80, with premium edging over the $4 mark. If the price hikes continue month, as they're likely to, May should be another solid month for hybrids.


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