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Plug-in hybrid sales growing in 2013 | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

Ford boosted sales of its plug-in hybrids in October, but sales of gas-electric hybrids and the Focus EV fell, according to data released by the automaker today.

Ford sold 2,179 of its Fusion and C-Max Energi models last month, which exceeded 2,095 Toyota Prius plug-ins and 2,022 Chevrolet Volts.

The company sold 2,577 Fusion hybrids and 1,438 C-Max hybrids — the second-worst month for both models so far this year. Sales of the battery-only Focus Electric were a paltry 115 in October, the third-lowest monthly total this year.

Plug-in hybrids still are niche vehicles, representing less than 1% of total U.S. sales, but the segment topped 39,000 sales through the first 10 months of the year, which is 32% more than the same period in 2012 in the U.S.

More http://www.freep.com/article/20131104/BUSINESS01/311040137/1204/Plug-hybrid-sales-growing-2013

Plug-in hybrid sales growing in 2013 | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

Ford boosted sales of its plug-in hybrids in October, but sales of gas-electric hybrids and the Focus EV fell, according to data released by the automaker today.

Ford sold 2,179 of its Fusion and C-Max Energi models last month, which exceeded 2,095 Toyota Prius plug-ins and 2,022 Chevrolet Volts.

The company sold 2,577 Fusion hybrids and 1,438 C-Max hybrids — the second-worst month for both models so far this year. Sales of the battery-only Focus Electric were a paltry 115 in October, the third-lowest monthly total this year.

Plug-in hybrids still are niche vehicles, representing less than 1% of total U.S. sales, but the segment topped 39,000 sales through the first 10 months of the year, which is 32% more than the same period in 2012 in the U.S.

The vehicles are plugged in to recharge their batteries so they can run on electricity, but after a certain distance a backup gasoline engine takes over.

Toyota continues to dominate the market for gas-electric hybrids that don’t need recharging.

General Motors launched the extended-range plug-in Chevrolet Volt three years ago. Earlier this year, Chevrolet introduced the electric Spark on the West Coast. Chrysler has the Fiat 500 electric.

While California accounts for 38% of plug-in sales, Detroit, New York and Boston combined for 32% of the segment, said Ford spokesman Scott Fosgard. There were more plug-ins sold in metro Detroit last month than in Seattle, he said.

Ford makes all versions of the Focus and C-Max at the Michigan assembly plant in Wayne. Production there stopped last week to reduce bloated inventory of the Focus and C-Max. A second shutdown is scheduled for the week of Dec. 16.

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