August 20, 2014
Sales of electric and hybrid vehicles have been growing in the U.S. and Europe as more consumers aim to save fuel. With the market for electric vehicles expanding, European electric car sales rose 77 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period last year, according to a report by EV Obsession. The Nissan Leaf was the most popular model in Europe this year with a little more than 7,100 in sales in the first half, followed by the Tesla Model S and Renault Zoe. With demand for electric vehicles growing exponentially in 2014, car manufacturers may want to invest in more materials for product development, including permanent magnets found in the motors for plug-in electric and hybrid cars.
Of the European countries experiencing rises in demand for electric cars, Norway was No. 1 in sales growth in the first six months of 2014 compared to 2013, up 302 percent. The country now accounts for 34 percent of the market share in Europe in 2014. Rounding off the top three was Denmark and Belgium with increases of 254 percent and 223 percent respectively.
US hybrid vehicle market growing
In addition to the surge in electric car sales in Europe, the hybrid vehicle market in the U.S. increased at a steady level with almost 45,000 units sold in July, accounting for 0.4 percent of the total market, HybridCars.com reported. Toyota led the charge in sales growth with the Prius Liftback and the Camry Hybrid seeing double digit gains in July. The rise in hybrid sales could be attributed to increasing fuel costs as well as more awareness about greenhouse gas emissions generated from conventional fuel resources.
According to Toyota, Prius models have helped save nearly $5 billion in fuel costs in the U.S. compared to driving a regular car and prevented about 26.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the last 14 years.