Hybrid vehicle sales surge

July 18, 2012 12:00 AM

Sales of eco-friendly vehicles have surged in recent months, according to a report from Kelley Blue Book (KBB).

Americans are embracing green vehicles at a higher rate as compared to years past, perhaps due to the increased emphasis many are placing on fuel economy. In the Blue Book Market report for June 2012, KBB found that sales of hybrid and electric cars have jumped by 164 percent compared to the same month in 2011.

"The Toyota Prius was the most significant driver of segment gains, with sales surging more than 300 percent from June of last year," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book. "The Prius has been in high demand since the introduction of the subcompact Prius c and wagon-esque Prius v. Sales numbers for the Prius also look especially strong due to the inventory shortages that plagued Toyota at this time last year."

After a rocky start, the Chevrolet Volt has been another big seller this year. Despite the vehicle's high MSRP and the fact that it's not a "true" electric car for some people, the GM model has outsold its rival Nissan Leaf 3-to-1 in 2012. The Lexus CT200h, meanwhile, saw sales jump by 500 percent compared to the previous year.

Drivers don't necessarily need to invest in an electric car to get better gas mileage. Many might be surprised by the gains they can see from regular vehicle maintenance, such as car tune ups.

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