Americans Want More Fuel-Efficient Cars, US Hybrids Up 48%

Total US hybrid sales jumped 48.6% in August from last August, buoyed up by Cash for Clunkers.

We Americans did the right patriotic thing with our clunker money last month, it turns out. We bought more American. And we bought more hybrid cars.  Ford was the big winner, making a big dent in Toyota’s hybrid sales.

Consumer reports tells us that 80% would rather buy US cars and 46% of us now prefer fuel efficient cars.

We’re not so stupid, after all. After our experience with the run up in gas prices last summer, we jumped at the chance to own a gas sipper with Cash for Clunkers. We had already been buying 13.8% fewer gas guzzling trucks and 15.6% more gas sipper cars over this last year per Green Car Congress.

Even before Cash for Clunkers, ever since the gas shocks last summer, we have been buying more fuel efficient cars. Most of us don’t need trucks. And hybrids as percentages of sales had already been gaining steadily since the gas shocks last year, (although sales generally were few till the incentives last month). For example, the change in the percentage of hybrids sold in August had merely drifted up 9.2% from the month before Cash for Clunkers.

It appears that fuel economy matters more to us now. For 46% of us, and for secondhand car buyers: 55% fuel efficiency is in our top three factors determining our choice.

Interestingly, “environmentally friendly” (which fuel efficiency equates to) is less often cited: only 13%.

Full data after the jump:

Susan Kraemer

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.