Proponents of advanced-powertrain vehicles may want us to start including the Tesla Model S in their monthly US calculations. Even though Tesla doesn't give out monthly sales totals, without counting sales of the luxury electric sedan, the green-car story just isn't getting much better.

Plug-in vehicle sales fared better, though their growth slowed markedly, too.

After showing healthy growth prospects for most of the year, US green-car sales have been bumping along a similar path as last year's since September, when year-over-year sales actually fell. October 2013's overall sales numbers increased 4.3 percent, and November remained tepid as Americans bought 47,916 hybrids, plug-ins and diesels, just a 3.4-percent advancement. Plug-in vehicle sales fared better, though their growth slowed markedly, too, to 14 percent.

And while we usually lead this story with Toyota, the automaker even more representative of last month's results was actually Ford. The Blue Oval's green-car sales fell 1.9 percent from a year ago to 7,019 units, as sales of the C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrid plunged 59 percent and 25 percent from a year ago, respectively.

Toyota tread water, as a 9.8 percent increase in Prius liftback sales was offset by declines in demand for the compact, wagon and plug-in hybrid Prius variants. And, while Toyota moved 1,532 of its newer Avalon Hybrids, Camry Hybrid sales were down 24 percent to 2,994 vehicles. Sales of hybrids wearing Toyota's Lexus badge declined 5.2 percent to 3,530 units. Overall, Toyota's green-car sales remained mostly steady, falling just 0.4 percent to 24,579 vehicles.

GM also had a down month, with sales of mild-hybrid models dropping substantially.

General Motors also had a down month, with advanced-powertrain sales falling 4.6 percent from a year earlier to 3,657 units. While Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in sales jumped 26 percent to 1,920 units and the newer Cruze Diesel model moved 546 vehicles, sales of mild-hybrid models such as the Buick LaCrosse and Regal, and Chevrolet Malibu eAssist dropped substantially.

Even Volkswagen, which had consistently been selling more and more diesels this year, fell off, with November sales declining 4.7 percent from a year earlier to 6,847 vehicles. Small-volume producers like Mitsubishi (with its i electric vehicle) and Porsche (with its two hybrids) also suffered from lower demand.

November's bright spot was Honda.

In fact, the bright spot for November was Honda, whose green car sales almost doubled from 2012 to 2,393 units on the newer Accord Hybrid and Accord Plug-in Hybrid sales. Civic Hybrid sales also almost doubled, while CR-Z sales were up 21 percent. Nissan also continued to see consistently higher demand, with sales of its all-electric Leaf increasing by 30 percent from a year earlier, to 2,003 units. Audi more than doubled its diesel sales to 1,344 vehicles.

Year-to-date, green-car sales are up 20 percent from a year earlier to 593,204 units, while plug-in sales have jumped 60 percent to 69,249 vehicles.



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  • 20 Comments
      Val
      • 1 Year Ago
      Proponents of advanced-powertrain vehicles may want us to start including the Tesla Model S in their monthly US calculations. Umm, no, again, you are the only ones whining that tesla should start releasing monthly sales figures. You whine about it in every possible article. The only people interested in that are you and the anti-ev crowd, who feel entitled to the information, because GM decided it was ok to release those numbers.
      • 1 Year Ago
      So to keep the GM numbers in perspective, the eAssist Malibu was discontinued for 2014 when the addition of Start/Stop to the 2.5L across the board was able to match the eAssist EPA numbers. Also, the eAssist was the base engine for the Buick and it is now an option…
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'll keep saying it as long as Danny keeps posting it. ABG is fostering misinformation... which is seriously hurting any credibility. This chart is called "ALT-FUEL"... not "GREEN-CARS"... diesels passenger cars are alternative to the norm in the U.S. But diesel trucks are not. Neither are "Green".
        oollyoumn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Diesel is an alternate end use product, but it still largely comes from the same barrel of oil. Unless your talking biodiesel, I wouldn't consider it an alternate fuel or green. Maybe greener than diesel was. Flexfuel vehicles are closer to being alternately fueled except literally none of them get anything but straight gas in the tanks. HEV are not alternately fueled, and PHEV are only as alternate as flexfuel vehicles, assuming they get plugged in.
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        @ Joeviocoe I agree with you 100% ! Diesel is certainly not a green fuel, nor is it really an :alternate fuel" in the accepted sense of the word. There is now such thing a "clean diesel" it's just another grade of fossil fuel, possibly even more harmful than gasoline. It's even stretching a point to include GNG/LPG as "green" or '' alternate' ' fuel considering it's also derivatives of fossil fuel. But, I suppose both are considerably less pollutant than gasoline and diesel. CNG/LPG, is also cheaper and more plentiful , so the inclusion as an alternate fuel is acceptable. All EV technology is obviously accepted as alternate fuel vehicles since the object of the technology is to use less gasoline and therefore less pollution.
        wxman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Why are you not calling out hybrids, both HEV and PHEV, as not "green"? Both use gasoline. Why are you singling out diesel?
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wxman
          wxman... I think many people have twisted statistics around to favor something.... it usually ends up with some biased study/report comparing something to a Prius. The study/report usually sounds authoritative, but has some hidden assumptions or special circumstance that tips the advantage to their preferred analysis. That is why we have seen countless people claim this or that, with a "something vs. a Prius". From "dirtier than a Hummer", "dirtier than a 4-Runner" (just yesterday someone was claiming here).... and now, "dirtier than a BMW 535d". Don't listen to articles/studies/reports that specifically target vehicles (especially target to compare against a Prius).... as it is likely to be improperly done. Use an automated system/website that allows you to select from the database of known metrics. This way, the automated system cannot bias the results. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=34172&id=34489&id=34173&#tab2 *disclaimer: I drive a TDI*
          wxman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wxman
          Direct (official certified) emissions from most of the diesel versions of the same vehicle are actually lower in most cases, including hybrid versions. And that doesn't even include higher upstream emissions of gasoline vis-a-vis diesel fuel. In fact, the 2014 BMW 535d has essentially the same overall vehicle emission profile as the 2014 Prius, based on the official certified emissions of each vehicle. The irony is that diesel vehicles now produce fewer harmful emissions, especially particle emissions, than most gasoline-fuel vehicles in spite of outdated perceptions to the contrary.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wxman
          The format of the long URL doesn't fit... and I cannot select the url text to copy into the browser. Please use bit.ly or tinyurl to fix please. ----------------- Problem with GREET, I have used it many times before... is that you can selectively choose the metrics that suit diesel more.... and such, make ANY POINT. There is nothing UNOFFICIAL about fueleconomy.gov.... they use certified data from the DOE and EPA. GREET is great... but they let you turn so many knobs and tweak the assumptions until you can conclude anything you wish.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wxman
          As far as comparing similar cars. A good comparison would be 4 VW Jettas: All Automatic, All Turbo 2.0L Diesel 2.0L Premium Gasoline 1.4L Hybrid 1.8L Regular Gasoline Diesels result in moderate reduction of GHGs, but also moderate increase in Smog related pollutants. Which puts them on par with gasoline non-hybrid versions The hybrid SIGNIFICANTLY reduces GHGs, while also having a great Smog rating. People buy diesel to save on Fueling Costs... not to be green (although if you can find Biodiesel, maybe both). People buy Hybrids to do Both.... and hybrids do both very well. THAT is why hybrids deserve to be called "Green" but diesels do not.
          wxman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wxman
          I am not familiar with the "tinyurl" format. All I can do is direct you to the main CARB cert page at http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/onroad/cert/cert.php which has a link "Executive Orders Listing" which in turn has a link for 2014 certs under "PC_LDT_MDV_MDEV" column. The certs are listed by manufacturer. You're correct that GREET has the option of changing many of the input parameters. I used only the default settings. However, I also used EPA emission factors in the analysis I directed you to in a separate post. If you believe that EPA data are "official", then you have to accept those EPA emission factors. Also, it still says on the fueleconomy.gov site when selecting "tailpipe and upsteam GHG" in the "Energy and Environment" tab that "Greenhouse gas emissions are estimated using GREET Model 1.8 (U.S. Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory) and includes the three major greenhouse gases emitted by motor vehicles: CO2, nitrous oxide, and methane." So fueleconomy.gov uses GREET to estimate upstream GHG emissions.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wxman
          Can you please source that claim? The DOE's EERE and EPA's OTAQ Does NOT agree with your assessment of Prius vs. 535d http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=34172&id=34489&id=34173&#tab2
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wxman
          http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=33817&id=33929&id=34167&id=33928 The 2014 Jetta's comparison
          wxman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wxman
          All of my links work for me. Don't know why you can't open them. I can assure you that I've used official certified emission data and emission factors from both EPA and Argonne National Laboratory (GREET model - which is used by fueleconomy.gov to calculate upstream GHG emissions by the way). If you find errors in my calculations or data transfer, I asked that you point them out.
          wxman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wxman
          In the first place, I did NOT say the Prius was "dirtier" than the 535d. They're essentially the same. And I'm talking about "conventional" (regulated) emissions, not GHG. Take a look at the OFFICIAL CERTIFIED EMISSIONS of the 2014 Prius (AT-PZEV certified - http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/onroad/cert/pcldtmdv/2014/toyota_pc_a0140843_1d8_pz_hevge.pdf) and the 2014 535d (http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/onroad/cert/pcldtmdv/2014/bmw_pc_a0080351_3d0_u2_diesel.pdf). Remember that the FTP emissions are what the vehicle emits only part of the time (~35% according to EPA). The "supplemental FTP" emissions (US06 and SC03) also have to be taken into consideration. According to those certified emissions data... 2014 535d vs. 2014 Prius AT-PZEV (certified vehicle emissions) (Grams/Mile) Emission.........................535d...................Prius (AT-PZEV) NMOG……......................0.008....................0.013* CO...................................0.2........................0.04 NOx.................................0.03......................0.003 NOx Hwy.........................0.00......................0.002 PM...................................0.001....................Not Reported NMOG+NOx (US06)…....0.01.....................0.016* NMOG+NOx (SC03)........0.002...................0.018* CO (US06).......................0.1…....................0.1 CO (SC03).......................0.02......................0.1 *including 0.008 g/mi evaporative emissions @ FTP/SC03; 0.006 g/mi @ US06 @Composite emissions profile (@35% FTP/28% US06/37% SC03)... Emission...................2014 535d….........2014 Prius (AT-PZEV) NMOG+NOx.................0.017...........................0.017 CO................................0.11.............................0.08 PM................................0.001...........................Not Reported Not much difference.
          wxman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wxman
          @Joe, I would invite you to take a look at my analysis of emissions of the 2014 Passat TDI vs. 2014 Passat 1.8T (PZEV certified). This is a full "well-to-wheels" analysis using both EPA and Argonne National Laboratory (via GREET model) emission factors. The full analysis and methodology is explained here... http://webpages.charter.net/lmarz/emissions2014.html Notice that even the vehicle emission profile (composite) of the TDI is actually lower across-the-board than the 1.8T. Taking the upstream emissions into account makes the difference even more dramatic.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wxman
          Because diesels are known to still produce harmful emission comparable to regular gasoline vehicles that are equivalent. They may get higher MPG, which saves money, but that is offset by other emission. Hybrids, get higher MPG while using the same fuel... which have an effective reduction in emissions.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wxman
          Fix your links. Can't verify your claims. The data looks fishy, as if constructed using subjective metrics that favor diesel.
          wxman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wxman
          @Joe - okay, with the assistance from another party, the following are the condensed links... http://tinyurl.com/nbbqhza (2014 Prius) http://tinyurl.com/nksfg4a (2014 535d)
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      Funny, looks like Honda Dealers decided to start selling the hybrids.
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