July's green-car sales results, while still somewhat tepid, were enough to make auto-industry watchers downright patriotic, as increased demand for Ford and General Motors' hybrids and plug-in vehicles partially salvaged what was still a tough month. In fact, take out the impact of Volkswagen's continued stop-sale on diesel vehicles (of which more than 8,000 were sold in July 2015), and green-car sales were about dead-even with year-earlier figures. As it was, US green-car sales fell 17 percent to about 40,500 units. As for plug-in vehicles, demand spiked 20 percent from a year earlier to more than 10,000 vehicles.

Demand for plug-in vehicles spiked 20 percent to more than 10,000 vehicles.

And the Americans took the lead, even setting aside Tesla Motors (the electric-vehicle maker's sales continue to be on the upswing, but the company doesn't disclose monthly figures). For starters, GM's Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in experienced its best sales month in almost two years, with demand jumping 83 percent from a year earlier to 2,406 units. Sales of the Chevy Spark EV climbed more than five-fold to 333 units. Overall, GM's green-car sales were up 49 percent to 3,231 vehicles.

Meanwhile, Ford, which late last month touted the rise in its Fusion Hybrid sales in Los Angeles, reported a 29-percent increase in green-car sales to 7,466 units. Sales of the Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid rose 63 percent and 57 percent from a year earlier, respectively, though sales of the C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi PHEV were each down about nine percent.

BMW also fared well with its i sub-brand sales. The i3 EV moved 1,479 vehicles, up 58 percent from a year earlier, and that more than offset a 24-percent drop in i8 sales.

Sales of the four Prius variants were down 29 percent.

And while Toyota green-car sales were down, July wasn't a disaster. Americans bought almost 23,400 Toyota and Lexus hybrids and plug-ins, marking a 7.3 percent decline from a year earlier. While sales of the four Prius variants were down 29 percent from a year earlier to almost 13,000 units, the RAV4 Hybrid moved 4,692 vehicles.

Nissan wasn't terrible either, as sales of its Leaf EV were down 9.5 percent from a year earlier to 1,063 units. Roughest, though, was Honda, were green-car sales plunged 61 percent from a year earlier to just 913 units.

Through July, US green-car sales fell 22 percent from a year earlier to almost 236,000 vehicles. Plug-in vehicle sales rose 7.1 percent to about 61,000 units.



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