This year's steady jump in demand for hybrids and plug-ins, which continued into May, was once again lead by the domestic automakers. US green-car sales last month rose about 15 percent from a year earlier to almost 43,000 vehicles, while plug-in vehicle sales surged about 45 percent to almost 15,000 units.

In addition to Tesla, which continues to boost sales but doesn't publish monthly metrics, Ford and General Motors each performed well in May. Green-car sales for the Blue Oval rose 56 percent from a year earlier to 9,221 vehicles, as Fusion Hybrid sales more than doubled, while Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid sales jumped 77 percent.

Up the road, General Motors increased green-car sales by 50 percent to 3,964 vehicles. Notably, the Chevrolet Bolt electric-vehicle model had a record month, tallying 1,566 unit sold in May. While the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in sales fell slightly to 1,817 units, Chevy Malibu Hybrid sales doubled to 493 units.

Nissan, Volkswagen, and Honda also made big gains. Buoyed by a jump in sales for its Accord Hybrid, Honda green-car sales rose sixfold to 2,178 units. VW's green-car sales were up 24 percent on a rise in e-Golf demand. And Nissan's all-electric Leaf increased sales 42 percent from a year earlier to 1,392 units.

Such gains more than offset the impact of less-than-stellar months from Toyota, BMW, and Audi. Toyota, which remains the world's biggest green-car seller, saw sales fall 9.9 percent to 20,191 units, primarily on a 20-percent drop in sales for the four Prius variants. Camry and Avalon Hybrid sales fell 17 percent and 38 percent from a year earlier, respectively, while Lexus Hybrid sales declined 7.6 percent to an even 2,300 units.

As for the Germans, Bimmer's i sub-brand saw its sales fall 38 percent from a year earlier to 524 units. And Audi's Sportback e-tron sales dropped 19 percent to 294 units.

Through the first five months of the year, US green-car sales are up 18 percent from a year earlier to about 193,000 units. Plug-in vehicle sales have surged 50 percent to almost 67,000 units.

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