Americans Hot for Hybrids

Sales up 49% thanks to surge in Mid-West sales
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2007 5:42 PM CDT
Unsold 2007 Prius hybrid sedans sit on the lot of a Toyota dealership in Boulder, Colo., on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007. Hybrid vehicles are on track to achieve record U.S. sales this year despite signs consumer...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hybrid sales skyrocketed 49% in the first half of 2007, thanks to boom in the Midwest. Oklahoma’s 143% increase was the most of any state, but every state except Hawaii saw growth, the AP reports, with 215,997 vehicles registered this year, compared to 144,721 over the same period last year.

Hybrids are the one bright spot, analysts say, in an otherwise moribund US auto market. Over 300,000 should be sold this year, making up 2% of the market, a number only likely to rise as oil prices flirt with record highs. "The data indicates that hybrids have not hit plateau,” said one analyst. “There is room for continued growth.”