Americans appear to be re-embracing their inner tree-hugger, as the growth in US green-car sales again accelerated last month. July ended up having the second-fastest growth rate of the year.

July US sales of hybrids, plug-ins and diesels jumped 50 percent from 2012.

July US sales of hybrids, plug-ins and diesels jumped 50 percent from a year earlier to 59,161 units, reflecting the fastest year-over-year gain since January's 58 percent growth rate. Plug-in vehicle sales rose even faster, nearly doubling July 2012's clip to reach 5,892 units and illustrating continued strong demand for models like the Nissan Leaf battery-electric and Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in. Specifically, the Nissan EV more than quadrupled its year-earlier sales to 1,864 units, while the Volt held steady at 1,788 vehicles. And that overall plug-in vehicle growth rate was actually substantially faster, but since Tesla doesn't report monthly sales of its Model S, we don't know the exact numbers.

All told, Toyota boosted total Prius sales 40 percent.

Toyota continued to rack up big hybrid sales, which each one of its four Prius variants boosting year-over-year sales. All told, the Japanese automaker boosted total Prius sales 40 percent from a year earlier to 23,294 vehicles, with the standard hatchback sales up 54 percent. Camry Hybrid sales jumped 31 percent to 4,193 units, while Lexus boosted its hybrid sales count by 34 percent to 3,663 vehicles.

Ford also increased its green-car sales based on newer models like its two C-Max variants and the latest version of its Fusion Hybrid, which more than doubled sales to 2,914 units. The C-Max Hybrid moved 2,267 vehicles, while plug-in models such as the Fusion Energi PHEV, C-Max Energi PHEV and Focus Electric combined for 990 vehicles sold. In all, the US automaker almost quadrupled its July 2012 green-car sales to 6,817 units in July 2013.

Honda continued to reverse its long-term green-vehicle sales slump.

Meanwhile, Honda continued to reverse its long-term green-vehicle sales slump by increasing July sales 20 percent from a year earlier to 1,609 units. Civic Hybrid sales advanced 23 percent while CR-Z sales were up 16 percent.

Additionally, German automaker Volkswagen and its Audi division each posted increased green-car sales. VW sold 10,698 diesels and 417 Jetta Hybrids to total 11,115 units, up 55 percent from year earlier green-car numbers. Audi's diesel sales rose 44 percent.

And Mitsubishi and Daimler's Smart division each chipped in with small EV gains. Mitsubishi increased sales if its i by 39 percent to 46 vehicles, while the recently introduced Smart ForTwo ED moved 58 vehicles.

The only notable laggard was General Motors.

In fact, the only notable laggard was General Motors, whose mild-hybrids such as the Buick LaCrosse and Regal eAssist lost ground in July. In total, GM's green-car sales fell 21 percent to 4,010, though the automaker did sell 102 Spark EVs.



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