Gas prices continued to drift lower in November, pumping the brakes on growth in the alt-fuel segments. Based on the numbers from this month’s HybridCars.com Dashboard, both the hybrid and diesel categories underperformed as compared to the industry’s overall growth rate of 8.6 percent in November. Each segment was in the black, but sales of the former were up by just 3.1 percent and the latter, by 7.8 percent. On the other hand, deliveries of plugged vehicles saw a more substantial increase, jumping by 23.4 percent.
All told, sales of alternative-fuel vehicles reached 56,538 units last month—including 136 from the Honda Civic Natural Gas—and that’s about 6.9 percent higher than during November 2012.
Still, there were some success stories last month, including for one of the Blue Oval’s greenest entries. That would be the 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid, which delivered 2,769 units and a 51 percent sales spike for the month (and also helped the Fusion family as a whole set an all-time November sales record). Also notable for their November performances were the 2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Kia Optima Hybrid, particularly when you consider that the South Koreans aren’t quite up to the EPA marks of their rivals. Even though the Fusion, for example, owns a 9-mpg advantage in combined driving, the Optima grew sales at a faster pace in November: The Kia’s 1,233 sales marked an 81.1 percent jump versus its results from the same month last year, while the Sonata, with 1,866 sales and a robust 17.4 advance, was the sixth-best-selling hybrid in the country in November, ahead of entries like the Ford C-MAX and Honda Civic Hybrid.
The Toyota Avalon Hybrid was the top new model from the segment, with more than 1,500 sales that earned it a place on the top-10 hybrid sales list in its first November on the market. That roster in entirety:
- Toyota Prius Liftback—9,801 sales, up 9.8 percent
- Toyota Prius c—3,001 sales, down 3.9 percent
- Toyota Camry Hybrid—2,994 sales, down 23.9 percent
- Ford Fusion Hybrid—2,769 sales, up 51 percent
- Toyota Prius v—2,227 sales, down 17.2 percent
- Hyundai Sonata Hybrid—1,866 sales, up 17.4 percent
- Toyota Avalon Hybrid—1,532 sales, new
- Ford C-Max—1,457 sales, down 59.4 percent
- Lexus ES Hybrid—1,393 sales, down 2.2 percent
- Kia Optima Hybrid—1,233 sales, up 81.1 percent