WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — U.S. hybrid-electric vehicle sales volumes are expected to grow by 268 percent between 2005 and 2012, according to a newly published report from J.D. Power and Associates. J.D. Power forecasts that hybrid vehicle sales will grow from approximately 212,000 vehicles in 2005 to 780,000 by 2012. Despite the large increase in sales volume, vehicle models using a hybrid-electric powertrain still will remain a small portion of the market, growing from 1.3 percent of U.S. light-vehicle sales in 2005 to 4.2 percent market share by 2012, the report said. "Future growth will be the result of more vehicle manufacturers entering the hybrid-electric market and a greater number of hybrid models," said Anthony Pratt, senior manager of global powertrain forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates. "There are currently only 11 hybrid models available in the U.S market, and by 2012 that number could increase to 52 models." While the number of hybrid models hitting dealer lots in the next several years is expected to increase dramatically, Pratt said many of those vehicles will be in segments currently void of hybrid vehicles. "Consumers tend to purchase within the vehicle segment that best suits their lifestyle," said Pratt. "When hybrids were first introduced in the United States, they were only available in sub-compact cars that were not practical for all vehicle buyers. This trend changed with the introduction of the Ford Escape in late 2004 and we anticipate this trend will continue in the future. By 2012, consumers will have the opportunity to purchase a hybrid vehicle in nearly all segments, including full-size pickups, minivans and luxury cars." The hybrid-electric vehicle market has grown from two models and fewer than 10,000 vehicles sold in 2000 to 11 models and an estimated 212,000 vehicles sold in 2005.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials