There are now 10.5 million alternative fuel vehicles on the road today according to R.L. Polk and Co. That includes hybrids, ethanol-capable E-85, and clean diesel autos. There are 60 models available today, as opposed to only 12 in 2000.
"We are happy to see that consumers are, in fact, discovering the alternatives that are available to them on dealership lots nationwide," said Dave McCurdy, president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
Some alternatives are better than others, though. Most people think the alternatives are better, but consumers should be careful to look at each one carefully. The Honda Accord Hybrid, for instance, was built for performance, not for fuel economy. Also, having E85 is great for those who have an E85 pump nearby, but otherwise, it really doesn't help all that much.
But overall, having more alternatives out there makes it better for everyone.
Press Release from the auto alliance follows:
Consumers are Discovering the Alternatives: 2006 Sales of Alternative Fuel Autos Exceed Automakers’ Expectations by 50%
Washington, DC – Automakers kicked off National Alternative Fuel Autos Week by announcing that there are 10.5 million Alternative Fuel Autos on the nation’s roads today, according to 2006 sales data from R.L. Polk and Co.
The Polk sales figures also reveal that an unprecedented 1.5 million Alternative Fuel Autos were sold in 2006, surpassing automakers’ sales expectations by 50 percent. Currently manufacturers are offering 60 models of Alternative Fuel Automobiles for sale including hybrid electric, ethanol-capable E-85, and clean diesel, up from just 12 models for sale in 2000. A complete list of available autos can be found at www.DiscoverAlternatives.com.
“There are 10.5 million Alternative Fuel Autos on the roads and highways of every state across the country. We are happy to see that consumers are, in fact, discovering the alternatives that are available to them on dealership lots nationwide,” said Dave McCurdy, president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. “We believe that the numbers of Alternative Fuel Autos on the roads continues to rise because consumers can choose from a variety of autos that reduce fuel use while still providing the utility, safety, performance and comfort they seek.”
In addition to the 60 Alternative Fuel Autos currently being offered, auto engineers are working to include a diverse range of highly fuel-efficient technologies in new vehicles. Today, every model for sale is available with some kind of fuel-efficient technology, such as fuel injectors, four-cylinder engines, variable valve timing, continuously variable transmissions, cylinder deactivation and more.
Automakers are also working with the energy industry to develop a range of alternative fuels capable of sustaining mobility while ensuring more secure energy sources. In fact, Alliance members have forged more than 25 partnerships, joint ventures or research and development projects with energy producers to expand the fueling infrastructure for fuels such as ethanol, biomass and hydrogen. Automakers are also working with the government, fuel providers and fuel retailers to help grow the E-85 ethanol fueling infrastructure. Since mid-2005, the industry has helped add 200 fueling stations in 13 states.
McCurdy added, “Having exceeded our sales expectations in 2006, we hope that 2007 will be another banner year for sales of Alternative Fuel Autos. This year marks the first-ever National Alternative Fuel Autos Week and automakers hope to draw more attention to the availability of these autos currently for sale.”
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is a trade association of 9 car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen. For more information on advanced fuel-savings technology, visit the Alliance website at www.autoalliance.org.