The growth of hybrid and diesel vehicle sales increased significantly over the past couple of years. According to Polk, the number of light-duty hybrid vehicle registrations increased by 34% between 2010 and 2012, and diesel sales are up by 24% to 797,000, from 641,000.
Overall vehicle registrations in the U.S only increased by less than 3%, suggesting that the newly registered hybrid and diesel vehicles are replacing existing cars, a positive trend overall.
As increasing fuel economy standards push automakers towards building more fuel efficient cars, consumers are gravitating towards better fuel economy as gas prices remain stubbornly high. Hybrids and diesels have proven the most popular because these cars are the most similar to conventional, gas-powered cars, albeit with better fuel economy. Electric vehicle sales meanwhile remain in neutral.
All that said, depending on cost buying a diesel or hybrid car doesn’t necessarily translate into dollars saved. Depending on what you are driving, and what car you buy, it could take a decade or more to recoup that premium cost for a diesel or hybrid drivetrain. For example, the new Chevy Cruze Diesel is rated at 46 mpg, 4 mpg better than the Chevy Cruze Eco. But costing almost $6,000 more, it would take about 17 years to recoup the cost difference.
Source: Autoblog Green