Lifestyle

Alt Fuel Auto Sales Soar


Facing rising gas prices, Americans are buying more alternative fuel autos, including hybrids, diesel and ethanol-capable vehicles, according to automakers.

"Our priority is to get the word out that alternative fuel autos are on sale now, and these vehicles are the quickest way to reduce gasoline use," said Fred Webber, President & CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents nine global automakers selling vehicles in the U.S. "No one wants to see high gas prices and concerns about energy security, but the good news about today’s energy situation is that more Americans are purchasing one of the many fuel-efficient automobiles on sale today," said Webber.

The number of alternative fuel automobiles on U.S. roads has reached 9 million, according to new figures released by R.L. Polk & Co. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said that there were approximately 8.3 million alternative fuel autos on the road at the close of 2005, and more than 700,000 hybrids, diesel and ethanol vehicles have been purchased in the first half of 2006, putting automakers on track to reach their goal of sales of a million. Automakers have set a goal of selling 1 million hybrids, diesel and ethanol vehicles in 2006, and 2 million by 2008.

Automakers are now selling 46 models of alternative fuel autos, including ethanol vehicles capable of running on 85 percent ethanol (or E85 vehicles), clean diesel autos and hybrid electric vehicles. A list of these vehicles can be viewed at http://www.discoveralternatives.com/. Another 35 models of alternative fuel autos are in development for future introduction.

"Every model of auto is available today with some kind of fuel-efficient technology, such as variable valve timing, continuously variable transmissions, and cylinder deactivation. We urge all consumers to check out these fuel-efficient options on dealers’ lots today," said Webber.

The number of alternative fuel autos on U.S. roads has more than doubled recently, from 3 million in 2000 to 8.3 million in 2005 (R.L. Polk & Co. data). For more information, read "A Progress Report on Enhancing Energy Security" at http://www.discoveralternatives.com.

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 information fuel-saving technology, visit http://www.autoalliance.org.


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