When it came to last month's US green-car sales, the second verse was nearly the same as the first. With January suggesting that sales of hybrids and plug-ins are once again on the upswing, February reinforced that theory, as newer models such as the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle and re-booted ones such as the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid and Honda Accord Hybrid continued advanced-powertrain sales momentum that's likely to accelerate further when Tesla starts selling its Model 3 this summer.

Overall, Americans purchased more than 36,000 hybrids and plug-ins last month, up 25 percent from a year earlier. More impressively, plug-in vehicle sales surged 71 percent to more than 12,000. That's giving our best estimate that Tesla were up about 54 percent (the company doesn't release US sales figures outright).

The party starts right here in the US, where General Motors and Ford showed the most aggressive year-over-year gains. GM's green-car sales more than doubled from a year earlier, as the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in boosted sales 62 percent from a year earlier to 1,820 units, while the Bolt moved 952 units.

Ford's green-car sales jumped 67 percent to almost 7,900 units, with sales of both the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Focus Electric almost tripling. C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrid demand rose 30 percent.

And while Honda's gross numbers were far lower, year-over-year green-car sales rose almost sixfold to 2,047 units, predominantly on Accord Hybrid sales.

Nissan continues to move ahead of last year's soft numbers, boosting year-over-year sales of its Leaf electric vehicle by 12 percent from a year earlier to 1,037 vehicles.

And on the lower-volume front, Volkswagen's sales of its hybrids and e-Golf battery-electric rose 29 percent to 305 units, while BMW boosted collective sales of its i3 and i8 plug-in vehicles by 25 percent from a year earlier to 376 units.

The only real damper on last month's green-car sales — and it was a mild one — was Toyota's 6.5-percent decline in units, which still totaled almost 17,000. Falling sales of models such as the Prius Liftback hybrid, Camry Hybrid, and hybrids under Toyota's Lexus badge more than offset the jump in sales of Toyota's Prius Plug-in Hybrid.

Through February, US green-car sales rose 26 percent from a year earlier to almost 69,000 vehicles, while plug-in demand surged 72 percent to more than 24,000 units.

Share This Photo X