We last chatted with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers at the New York Auto Show. We heard then about the Alliance's safety and eco-related stances. On Monday, the Alliance will announce that 1.8 million alternative-fueled autos (diesels, hybrids and flex-fuel) were sold in the U.S. in 2007, up just a bit - 250,000 - from 2006. Both hybrids and flex-fuel vehicle sales climbed while diesels dipped. The Alliance believes that more than 2m alternative vehicles will be sold in America in 2008. The hurdles to wider acceptance are the same as we've heard before: high cost of diesels and a lack of E85 fueling stations (to say nothing of hydrogen). Still, 1.8m vehicles is not insignificant. These aren't perfect green rides - I'm looking at you, Escalade hybrid - but in the uphill battle to green up America's fleet of vehicles, it's a start. You can download a PDF that lists all of the Alliance members' 70+ alternative fuel vehicles here. More details after the jump.
SALES OF ALTERNATIVE FUEL AUTOS INCREASED BY 15 PERCENT IN 2007
Washington, DC-- Newly released sales figures from R.L. Polk reveal a record number of alternative fuel automobiles (AFA) rolled off dealer lots in 2007. In total, close to 1.8 million Alternative Fuel Autos were sold last year, roughly 250,000 more than were sold in 2006. Sales of E-85 capable vehicles flexible fuel vehicles were up significantly as were sales of hybrid electric vehicles. Sales of clean diesel vehicles fell slightly.
"Gas prices, consumer incentives, and the increasing number of AFA models available to consumers continue to play a role in the rising popularity of these vehicles," said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. "And while we're pleased these vehicles continue to grow in popularity, refueling infrastructure challenges may prevent the promise of these vehicles from being fully realized. For example, out of more than 170,000 refueling stations in the U.S. less than 1500 offer ethanol."
In 2008, more than 70 models of AFAs are being offered. This is up from only 11 models in 2001. McCurdy added, "Each year the number of AFAs available to consumers is increasing. We're hopeful that soon we'll be able to add a new generation of plug-in hybrids and other promising technologies to this list."
Currently there are more than 12 million alternative fuel autos registered in the U.S. and automakers are hopeful that this year sales of AFAs may exceed 2 million. With more choices available than ever before automakers are optimistic that the popularity of these vehicles will continue to grow.
McCurdy added, "Automakers recognize that our actions speak louder than our words. Last year we supported an aggressive nationwide increase in fuel economy standards that will increase fuel economy by 40 percent while at the same time reduce carbon dioxide emissions from new autos by 30 percent through 2020. We are hopeful that through the use of alternative fuel autos as well as improvements to the conventional international combustion we can meet the challenge of improving fuel economy, enhancing energy security and reducing carbon dioxide emissions while continuing to provide consumers with the vehicles they demand at an affordable price."
For more information about Alternative Fuel Automobiles visit http://www.discoveralternatives.com/.
[Source: Auto Alliance]