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A ago, we predicted the hybrid would resume growth in three years of sliding That didn’t pan out. to 2010, last year’s of gas-electric vehicles fell by 2.2 the slide continued for a fourth

Yet, the essentially flat could be viewed as decent, the severe impact of the March Japanese earthquake on the supply of and purely electric vehicles.

As we into spring 2012, the things we said last about hybrid growth are again. Gas prices are key—and in the Middle East could to $5 a gallon gas by summer. Just in Toyota (the hybrid is rolling out new versions of the Prius—while (the hybrid laggard) is putting its first viable vehicle on sale.

That an almost certain growth in in 2012, even if by only a few points.

Most analysts agree hybrids are entering the mainstream—mostly as an choice on an established model, than a new hybrid-only nameplate. a hybrid has become the price for as automakers try to meet tougher economy standards.

Barring catastrophes—2012 appears to be the year of the car comeback. Here are the major for the year.

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Last year was a landmark for EVs. There were launches of the Nissan LEAF and the Volt. These two plug-in were the start of a new era for electrified transportation.

But two models—selling a combined units—is a fraction of one percent of new car That’s a drop in the bucket, compared to the amount of buzz and chatter these two cars

The story starts to change in when these two plug-in will be joined by approximately 10 models that use household for automotive fuel. The list Ford Focus Electric, Electric Sedan, Fisker Honda Fit EV, Mitsubishi i, Toyota EV, Toyota Prius Plug-in and the Tesla Model S. The key question is if the needs so many electric considering the slow start for and LEAF sales in 2012.

Times Four

In the world of Prius remains the powerhouse Toyota fully understands It also recognizes that so many of its customers want a hatch. So the company decided to the love to multiple models to different types of buyers.

For Toyota—in its usual methodical been researching, hinting, and what a family of Prii look like.

In 2012, the becomes fully realized. It with the Prius wagon—dubbed V for late 2011. That is joined by a plug-in version, of Toyota aims to sell units in the first year.

By mid-year, the fourth model in a downsized subcompact logically the C for compact—which at $19,000 and 53 MPG in the city short-circuit the calculators of hybrid who have long asserted gas-electric cars aren’t it.

Diesel Maxes Out

The VW Jetta TDI to dominate the clean diesel but the number of diesel choices has at about a dozen models.

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was a time about four or years ago that hybrid and diesel zealots hotly which, between the two, become more popular. advocates argued that oil-burners deserved the designation as and besides the great torque and of its engines trumped slowpoke hybrids any day of the week. Those are done.

Despite some in clean diesel sales the past few years, we’re not any new models hit the market.

The choice for clean diesel has been stuck at about a for the past few years, with no of change. All the buzz has moved to both diesel and hybrid a backseat to plug-in models as the darling (or the subject of derision by While diesel sales past 100,000 units in to 275,000 hybrids—that number is to move sideways in 2012.

CNG National

For the past dozen or so the version of the Honda Civic runs on compressed natural gas up awards as the greenest car in America. Honda doled out the Honda CNG (formerly the Honda Civic GX) in doses—only in a handful of states. The also was a stripped down lacking the creature comforts and common to most new cars.

But in Honda stretches its CNG distribution—expanding of the redesigned 2012 Civic GX to 38 US

VW Finally Enters Hybrid

Volkswagen will go down in history as the last major to offer a hybrid. We’re not the limited-run ill-conceived $61,000 VW Hybrid, or the ultra-cool concept it likes to unveil at major shows—but a true high-mpg affordable gas-electric car. the wait will prove it.

Hybrid As Engine Choice

the biggest news about in 2012 is that hybrids are not big In other words, there was a when automakers rolled out a as if it was novel. Hybrids had to stand out unique designs and unique Now, after a dozen on the market, buying a car with a order of electricity is not a big deal.

can go into a dealership, point to a that they like—and what propulsion system their lifestyle and pocketbook: gasoline internal combustion; gas with or without direct high-torque diesel; a gas-electric some of which come plugs; and pure electric. In range, hybrids are the proven high-mpg option, rather something that s odd or exotic. bodes well for the hybrid because the barriers (or stigmas) prevented carmakers from hybrids, and consumers from them, is quickly becoming a of the past.

Interesting » Electric Cars
Interesting » Electric Cars
Interesting » Electric Cars
Interesting » Electric Cars
Interesting » Electric Cars
Interesting » Electric Cars
Interesting » Electric Cars

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