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Four for the Automotive Hall of Fame
Mini Acura NSX Back on the Table
The High Cost of Building Autos
Subaru Continues to Break Away From The Pack
The Beginning of the End of Driving
Hyundai Plans Fuel-Cell Tucson
Audi Crosslane: A Hybrid Mongrel That Leans Electric
Charging Ahead on an Electric Highway
One Big Step for Tesla, One Giant Leap for E.V.’s
Soft Sales Crimp Outlook for Electric Cars
Cash Flows Are Critical for Tesla
Why Your Car Isn’t Electric
For Some Drivers, an Electric Motorcycle Could Be the Best of Both Worlds
In the Catskills, Coming Up Aces in a Vehicular Poker Game
Electric Motorcycles in Search of a Market
Between Auto Show and Showroom, a Supercar’s Mettle Is Tested
G.M. Plans a Software Patch to Address Stalling Chevrolet Volts
Questions Linger on Battery Prices in Electric Cars
Prospects for R8 E-tron Darken, as Audi Shifts Focus to Plug-in Hybrids
Hybrids and Electric Vehicles Do Well in Reliability Survey
A Hybrid Done Right, but Not Without Glitches
A Winning Ticket of Style and Handling
Price Is Major Factor for Electric Vehicles, Study Says
Inventor Says New Wireless E.V. Charger Is Safer and Cheaper
Will 2013 Be the Year of the Electric Car?
The Hague —Last year was a good one for electric and plug-in hybrid cars, according to 2012 sales figures and experts.

For example, sales of the Chevrolet Volt, one of North America’s most popular plug-in hybrid cars, tripled in the United States, according to year-end figures.

The 23,461 Volts sold last year represented only about a third of a percent of all new passenger cars sold in the United States, but such sales might be the harbingers of an automobile market shift toward green vehicles.

A new market study estimates annual global sales of 3.8 million electric or plug-in hybrid cars by 2020. The study, released by Pike Research last week, estimates that sales of plug-in cars will grow by 40 percent annually. During that same period, general car sales will grow by 2 percent, according to the research firm. In a press statement, Dave Hurst, the author of the study wrote:

“Sales of EVs have not lived up to automakers’ expectations and politicians’ proclamations, but the market is expanding steadily as fuel prices remain high and consumers increasingly seek alternatives to internal combustion engines.”

Plug-in cars, be they hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt, or all-electric cars like the Nissan Leaf (both of whose successes in the United States in 2012 were reviewed in this story by my colleague Bradley Berman), will contribute most of the growth, while non-plug in hybrids — now the most dominant force on the low-emission front — are expected to grow at 6 percent.

By 2020, there could be as many as 4.4 million all-electric vehicles on the world’s roads and another 3.4 million plug-in hybrid cars, predicts the report’s author.

Currently, all-electric vehicles make up only a sliver of the market, while substantially more drivers invest in hybrid cars. (Our report on fuel efficient vehicles last year explains the difference and the advantages of the competing technologies).

In the United States pure electric vehicles made up roughly 0.3 percent of cars sold in 2012, while hybrids or plug-in hybrids accounted for 3 percent, according to another market study. Here in Europe, electric cars are mostly seen as part of corporate fleets or city car sharing programs, like the Parisian “autolib” program.

Despite the fact that Europe is lagging behind the United States in plug-in cars on the road, the company predicts that by 2018 Germany will come in at third place for plug-in hybrid cars, after the United States and China. Japan, meanwhile, will dominate the non plug-in hybrid market, with almost half of all plug-in cars sold in that country.

In the United Kingdom the number of all-electric cars is expected to double in the coming year, according to one industry expert.

Ben Lane, the managing editor of nextgreencar.com, told the Guardian newspaper:

“The pricing is not yet quite right and the range is still not long enough. Very few people in 2012 were willing to pay a significant sum more for a car that still cannot do everything.”

There are other issues, too. A recent University of Indiana survey of 2,300 adult drivers in the United States, found that most were ignorant and apathetic about plug-in electric cars, as Bradley Berman reported for the Wheels blog some weeks ago.

Quoting John Graham, who designed the latest study, Bradley wrote:

“We found substantial factual misunderstandings of electric cars in our sample of 2,000,” Dr. Graham said. “In some cases, the misunderstandings would cause one to be more pessimistic about the vehicle than they should be. And in other cases, it would cause people to be more optimistic than they should be.”
Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid: Innovation but No Beauty
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Wheelies: The Global Domination Edition
Fisker Automotive Lays Off Majority of Employees
Hybrid Drivers Wanted
Renault Shows Edgy Concept at Milan Furniture Fair
Gentle Treatment Yields Fuel Economy Rewards With Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Russia Skips Hybrids in Push for Cars Using Natural Gas
Wheelies: The Fantasy Electric Truck Edition
G.M. Enters the 3-Cylinder Engine Arms Race
The New Chevy Spark Will Offer A.C. or D.C. Charging
Wheelies: The Chrysler Cacciatore Edition
How Do You Find the Best Green Cars?
How to Charge Millions of Electric Cars? Not All at Once
Venture Threatens to Backfire in Virginia Governor’s Race
In Two-Way Charging, Electric Cars Begin to Earn Money From the Grid
Electric Cars Rally on Connecticut’s Back Roads
Electric Car Maker Files for Bankruptcy Protection
Epic EV Torq: Three Wheels plus One Electric Motor equally Interesting
In a Plus for Electrics, Tesla Repays a Big Federal Loan Early
Wheelies: The Inexpensive E.V.’s Edition
Porsche’s Entry in the Science Fair
Israeli Venture Meant to Serve Electric Cars Is Ending Its Run
Wheelies: The Happy German Worker Edition
Tips for Buying and Servicing a Used Hybrid Car
Behold the Latest in Trash Trucks and Police Three-Wheelers
Fallout From Failure of Battery Swap Plan
Holding Its Own vs. Nonhybrids
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As BMW Is Put to the Test, Its Plans Are Years Ahead
More Than a Skateboard, Less Than a Car
Buzzing Around Paris in Borrowed Electric Cars
Fisker Hires G.M.’s Former Head of Marketing
Make Way for Kilowatts: A Growing-Up Year for Plug-Ins
Car Buyers Lack Interest in Electric Cars, Study Says
Ford Fusion Energi MPGe Hits Triple Digits, E.P.A. Says
Grid Problems Curb India’s Electric-Vehicle Appetite
Will 2013 Be the Year of the Electric Car?
Honda to Assemble 2014 Accord Hybrid in Ohio
The Fisker Karma With a V-8, Courtesy of Bob Lutz
Europe’s Big Bet on EVs and Hybrids
Could Electric Vehicles Fly Out of Showrooms?
New York to Washington on About One Gallon of Gas
Any Engine You Like, but Only if It’s a Hybrid
Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway
Doubting if Tomorrow Will Ever Come for Taxi
Compressing Gas for a Cheaper, Simpler Hybrid
India’s Only Electric Car Revamped to Woo Drivers
Companies Collaborate on E.V. Charging for All
Obama Seeks to Use Oil and Gas Money to Develop Alternative Fuel Cars
Audi Escapes the Hatch With the A3
At Mercedes, B Is for Battery
Infiniti QX60 Hybrid Pairs Style and Economy
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