Hybrid cars have been on the market for several years now, and they are just beginning to hit the mainstream. Fully electric vehicles are a little bit behind the hybrid market, with fewer models available, but consumer excitement about these alternative fuel choices could drive sales much more quickly now that more electric cars are on the market. The only thing keeping electric and hybrid cars from taking over the industry today is the lack of infrastructure and charging stations to support them. But that’s coming!
Wider Range of Fully Electric Vehicles
Consumers interested in electric cars will have more choice in 2012. The Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, and Ford Focus will be joined by the Honda Fit, Mitsubishi MiEV, Daimler Smart ForTwo, and the Tesla Roadster. Each of these cars can be operated strictly on their electric power reserves, but a few of them have also installed backup gasoline reservoirs that can kick in if you run out of juice before you get where you need to go. Even though additional electric cars are scheduled for release in 2012, the prices are still steeper than you will find for traditional gas burners.
Domestic Manufacturers to offer More Hybrids
Automakers like Ford and Chevrolet have caught up with Toyota’s Prius idea and are planning to release several hybrids in 2012. Aside from the all-electric Volt, Chevy will release two larger hybrid vehicles next year. The Tahoe is a hybrid SUV that has already received good reviews from owners of previous models. The Chevy Silverado hybrid will be the first full-sized hybrid truck ever released. Ford is working on a brand new hybrid car called the C-Max that is expected to offer more than 41 miles per gallon. Ford’s other hybrids, the Escape and Fusion, will see some understated cosmetic changes for their 2012 release.
European Hybrids Beginning to Hit the Market
German car manufacturers are the big news in the 2012 hybrid market. Audi, BMW, and Porsche are all planning to release hybrids next year. The Audi Q5 Hybrid Quattro will deliver all of the power you would expect from an Audi 6-cylinder engine with the incredible gas mileage of a hybrid. BMW plans to release three different hybrid sedans, each of which is equipped with the BMW signature luxury and performance. Porsche is also releasing three separate high-speed hybrids in 2012. Volkswagen continues to refine the efficiency and performance of the hybrid Touareg.
Asian Auto Makers Still Big on Hybrids
Toyota continues to increase its line of hybrids in 2012. Consumers can choose from four different Prius configurations, one of which is a plug-in model that promises to deliver up to 13 miles of pure electric power before switching on the gas. Toyota also plans to add a hybrid Camry to their line-up in 2012. The Honda CR-Z and hybrid Civic are being added to their line that includes the Fit and the Insight. Hyundai will enter the hybrid market with a new Sonata hybrid that can reach speeds of up to 62 miles per hour without switching to the gasoline reserves.