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Ford's 2013 Electric and Hybrid Lineup

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Ford continues to expand its lineup of electric and hybrid vehicles for 2013.

Hybrid Cars & Alt Fuels Spotlight10

Chrysler Playing Catch Up

Thursday July 18, 2013

It may be slow to the show, but Chrysler's global director of electrified propulsion and engineering recently told the Detroit Free Press that the automaker has plenty in the works beyond the company's first electric vehicle, the Fiat 500e. The EV just went on sale in California. Neither the Chrysler nor Fiat brands could be found among the several hundred thousand hybrids leaving the showroom in the first half of 2013.

Mike Duhaime left his post at GM as chief engineer for the Chevrolet Volt's power train about a year ago after more than three decades with the automaker to take the position with Chrysler. Duhaime sited a great "culture" and lots of opportunities for hybrid and electric vehicle development at Chrysler in explaining his career move. He told the Detroit Free Press that the 500e is just a first step, assuring there would be battery electric vehicles in Chrysler's future.

Alternative Fuels Vehicle Sales Look Strong for 2013

Thursday July 18, 2013

Hybrid vehicle sales month over month continue to rise, and it's more than just the soaring summer gas prices causing the strong showing. Besides consumers looking to save at the pump, the ability for hybrid and electric vehicles to continue carving out a little piece of an ever-competitive car market is likely due in part to the sheer number of hybrid and EV options now open to consumers.

Regardless of the likely multiple factors involved, 2013 is shaping up to be a strong year for alternative fuel vehicles sales. Chevy's Volt jumped to 2,700 sales in June, a mark that is nearly 1,000 units over its 2012 showing. GM is likely pleased to see that its Volt can stand up to the increased number of contenders in the plug-in hybrid arena. Ford's C-Max Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Energi plug-in are also making strong showings. The controversy earlier this year over official MPG numbers is apparently not hurting Ford's hybrid sales too much, as the automaker is enjoying hybrid sales up 400 percent compared to the same period last year, due in large part to its stronger line up of available hybrids.

These strong postings by Ford and GM could be hurting the Toyota Prius, which has long dominated the hybrid market. Toyota has seen Prius sales fall by about 8 percent compared to a year ago. But don't shed too many tears for Toyota. Even with its extended family of Prius models available, the standard Prius continues to be far and away the best selling hybrid.

Military Pumps Up Alternative Fuels Budget

Thursday July 18, 2013

The U.S. military will be increasing its expenditures on alternative fuels development and vehicle use, according to a recent report by Navigant Research.

Mirroring the reasons many consumers begin looking into alternative fuels vehicles, the military is less interested in saving the planet and more interested in saving costs. According to the report, the military's annual budget for alternative fuels development and alternative drive vehicles will rise to $926 million by 2020, a substantial increase from the $435 million budget figure for this category in 2013.

The U.S. military is the single largest consumer of fossil fuels in the world. The report says the military is looking at every conceivable technology to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, including increasing the number of E-85 and B-20 capable vehicles as well as hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, among other measures.

Industry Leaders See Strong Hybrid Market

Sunday June 30, 2013

Recent statements from Nissan North America and Bosch Automotive Service Solutions underscore rising sales for electric cars and 240-volt charging stations.

Brendan Jones, director of EV infrastructure strategy for Nissan, reported record Leaf sales in May, boasting 2,138 registrations, which represents a 319 percent increase over May 2012. He said June was also positioned to be a leading month for sales.

Kevin Mull, Bosch vice president of charging stations in the past four years. Bosch acknowledged the price tag remains fairly high, with the newly released wireless station will set customers back about $3,000 plus installation. This compares to a 240-volt corded system retailing for $800-$900.

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