U.S. registrations of new hybrid vehicles rose 38 per cent in 2007 to a record 350,289, according to data by R.L. Polk & Co.
Hybrids made up just 2.2 per cent of the U.S. market share for the year, but they were growing even as overall sales declined 3 per cent.
Lonnie Miller, director of industry analysis at Polk, said rising gas prices may affect some buyers, but they’re not the main driver of hybrid sales. Instead, he thinks sales jumped in 2007 because buyers had more options.
Another important factor is that hybrids have been on the market long enough for consumers to trust the technology, Miller said.