Hybrid market shows slight gain

Sales of the BMW i3 battery electric vehicle totaled 7,625 in 2016. (Bud Wells photo)

Sales of gas/electric hybrids, battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in the past year barely surpassed their 2015 totals in the U.S. market, accounting for approximately 2.9 percent of total new car, SUV and light truck sales for 2016.

Sales of the alternatives went from 498,718 in 2015 to 504,210 in the past year. Seventy-five models recorded sales during the year.

Big gains in ’16 over the previous year were by the Ford Fusion among hybrids, the Tesla S and
X among battery electrics and Chevrolet Volt and Ford Fusion Energi among plug-in hybrids.

The Toyota Prius Liftback, runaway leader  in hybrid sales since its introduction in 2000, saw its total for 2016 slip by 13 percent, from 113,829 sales in 2015 to 98,863 the past year. Still, the Prius was more than 50,000 sales ahead of the second strongest seller of hybrids, the Toyota RAV4.

Sales of light-duty diesel models took a sharp drop in 2016, after popular Volkswagen TDIs were taken off the market over an emissions-cheating scandal in September of 2015. Biggest sellers of light-duty diesels the past year were by the Ram 1500 pickup and Ford Transit van.

Top sellers of alternative-fueled vehicles in the U.S. in 2016:


Toyota Prius Liftback 98,863; Toyota RAV4 45,070; Ford Fusion 33,648;  Toyota Camry 22,227; Toyota Prius C 20,452; Hyundai Sonata 18,961; Toyota Prius V 14,840; Ford C-Max 11,877; Honda Accord 9,179; Lexus CT200h 8,903; Lexus RX400 8,561; Toyota Avalon 8,451; Lexus ES 7,645; Lincoln MKZ 7,219; Kia Optima 6,142; Toyota Highlander 5,976; Chevrolet Malibu 4,335; Lexus NX 2,842; Honda CR-Z 2,338; Subaru XV Crosstrek 2,173.


Chevrolet Volt 24,739; Ford Fusion Energi 15,938; Ford C-Max Energi 7,957; BMW X5 5,995; Audi A3  4,280; Hyundai Sonata 3,000; Toyota Prius Prime 2,474; Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid 2,111; Volvo XC90 2,020; BMW i8 1,594.


Tesla S 29,156; Tesla X 18,028; Nissan Leaf 14,006; BMW i3 7,625; Volkswagen e-Golf 3,937; Fiat 500e 3,897; Kia Soul EV 1,728; Ford Focus EV 872; Smart for Two EV 657; Mercedes B-Class electric 632.


Ram pickup 55,209; Ford Transit 50,137; Chevrolet Colorado 8,595; Jeep Grand Cherokee 4,253; GMC Canyon 3,936; Range Rover Sport 3,282; Range Rover 2,515; BMW X5 1,725; BMW 3-series 1,462; Jaguar F-Pace 1,044.