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Going electric? Hybrid and electric cars set sales records in August

The Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. Honda and Ford are expanding their green-car offerings to U.S. consumers. (Ford)
By Jerry Hirsch

September 12, 2013, 8:17 a.m.

Inch by inch, hybrids and electric cars are gaining ground in the U.S. auto market.

Automakers sold 54,855 hybrids in August, reports Autodata Corp., a sales tracking firm. That is a 32% gain from the same month a year earlier and an industry record for any prior month.

Sales of rechargeable cars, which include plug-in hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt and electric-only vehicles such as the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf, also set a record last month, climbing to 11,392, a 147% gain from the same period a year ago.

Auto information company says electric cars make up just 0.4% of the U.S. auto market now, but will grow to 1.5% by 2017.

Photos: Top 10 cars with lowest cost per mpg

Together, hybrids and electric cars accounted for about 4% of U.S. auto sales last month.

Several factors are behind that growth.

Ford has joined Toyota as a big seller of hybrids. The head-to-head competition between the two automakers is catching the attention of consumers.


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