Hybrid Car Brands ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Hybrid Car Brands

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Hybrid Car Brands

Just who is making hybrid cars these days and what brands are considering making hybrid cars in the future?

Major Hybrid Car Brands
Hybrid cars are currently being built and sold by General Motors, Ford, Honda, Toyota and Nissan. General Motors builds hybrid cars under several divisions including Saturn, Chevrolet, and GMC.  Ford has the Mercury and Ford divisions.  Toyota sells hybrids under the brand name of Lexus .  While Honda and Nissan just sell hybrids under their own name plates.

Under the Toyota brand name, there are three models currently on sale. The iconic Prius is almost synonymous with hybrid and is the first car most people think of when they think of hybrids. Toyota also sells the Camry Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid under the moniker of Toyota.

Toyota also has their luxury division, the Lexus hybrids. Under the Lexus brand name, Toyota sells the HS, LS, RX, and GS Hybrids. They keep adding models under the Lexus nameplate, so expect and IS hybrid to arrive soon. The HS hybrid is a dedicated model like the Prius. The others are subtypes under the model. In other words, you can buy gas-only models, or you can opt for the hybrid engine.

Honda sells the Civic Hybrid under their brand name. They also currently sell the only other dedicated hybrid on the road, the Insight. They used to sell a Hybrid Accord, and the two-seater hybrid Insight, but have retired both models.

Expect to see Acura Hybrids in the future.

Nissan has only one hybrid model for sale, the Nissan Altima Hybrid. It is built using hybrid technology from Toyota and is sold in only eight US states. Nissan has plans to bring an Infiniti M35 Hybrid to market in the coming year.

General Motors (Cadillac, Chevy, Saturn, GMC)
They build several models (currently) using the Chevrolet brand. There is the Chevy Malibu and Chevy Silverado. The Chevy Volt, the Extended Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV), will be out soon and while GM considers the Volt to be a subtype of electric vehicle, it still falls under the hybrid type.

GM also builds the GMC Yukon and Sierra. And the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid also falls under the GM brand.

The Saturn brand was at one point, the cornerstone for hybrids under the GM umbrella. But Saturn is no more. You can still see the hybrid Vue and Aura on the road today.

Ford sells four different models under two different brand names. The Mercury Division sells the Milan and Mariner Hybrid. While Ford retains the Fusion and Escape Hybrid. The Lincoln division will have its own hybrid soon, but it's not here yet. The Mercury hybrids are the upgraded version of the Ford Hybrids, so expect them to be very similar if you take a look at both of them.

Chrysler sold the Aspen and Durango Hybrids for a total of two months before pulling the plug on both models. The Dodge Durango is very similar to the Chrysler Aspen, and both were built using the dual hybrid technology developed in partnership with BMW and GM.

Chrysler at one point had plans to bring a Dodge Ram Hybrid to market, but that seems to be on hold.

Hyundai is jumping in with both feet in the next year, with the Sonata Hybrid. Distinguishing itself from the other hybrids listed above, it's going to be one of the first hybrids to use lithium polymer battery packs, giving it an advantage over some of the more established hybrid models and brands listed above.

Mazda has sold the Tribute hybrid in very limited numbers.  The Tribute was built using Ford Hybrid technology, when Mazda and Ford were a lot tighter than they are today.  Now Mazda is looking to partner with Toyota for the technology used in the Prius for their future hybrid model in 2013.

Fisker and Tesla
Fisker and Tesla are both bringing hybrid cars to market (they probably don't appreciate being lumped together given the lawsuits over the past few years). These startups are working hard to go straight to electric or hybrid and are emphasizing performance, rather than fuel efficiency right from the get go.

Audi, Subaru, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Daimler, Ferrari, Lotus, Kia, Maserati, Porsche, Suzuki, Volkswagen and Volvo
Each of the brands mentioned above are attempting their own hybrid models, and several have brought some noteworthy test models to auto shows. Several are on their way to bringing those cars to market right now, but are still a few years away from seeing them on the road in more than just 'test fleets'. Some are closer than others, while some probably have no intention of ever going hybrid unless they are forced to do so by the tighter restrictions being enforced in Europe, Asia and the US in the coming years.

Looking for more information on one of the brands above?
Either search for the brand name here on this site or use the categories below or on the sidebars.  Each of the major brands listed will have more information that I've accumulated over the years.

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at Edmunds.com

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