Sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric cars may have suffered over the summer thanks to dropping gas prices, economic woes and a drop in availability of cars, but last month sales of so-called ‘Advanced Drive’ cars reached an 8 month high. 

All in all, a little under 28,000 cars were sold in November with Hybrid or plug-in electric drivetrains, representing a 34 percent increase in year-on year sales for November last year. 

Toyota dominates sales

According to Edmunds Auto Observer, the majority of sales last month came from increased sales in hybrid cars, specifically the 2012 Toyota Prius and 2012 Lexus CT200h, 

In fact, a staggering 68.8 percent of all advanced-drive cars sold in November -- that’s a little over 19,000 cars -- were Toyota hybrids, illustrating the Japanese automaker’s stronghold on the green car market. 

Interestingly however, sales of hybrid Toyota SUVs were lower than they were this time last year, illustrating that buyers are more interested in economical family cars than they are with larger, more expensive SUVs.

With the recently released 2012 Toyota Prius V wagon and soon-to-launch 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid contributing to the buzz surrounding Toyota hybrids, that isn’t likely to change any time soon. 

2012 Toyota Prius V station wagon, Half Moon Bay, CA, May 2011

2012 Toyota Prius V station wagon, Half Moon Bay, CA, May 2011

Discontinued Ford Escape Hybrid Sells Well

During November, Ford reported that sales of its soon-to-be discontinued Ford Escape Hybrid crossover SUV remained high, making it the brand’s highest-selling advanced-drive vehicle. 

Due to be discontinued at the end of this model year, it appears that fans and dealers alike are rushing to buy one before they vanish. 

Leaf, Volt Still Niche Vehicles, Help Increase Fuel Efficiency Figures

Although the 2012 Nissan Leaf didn’t sell as well in November as the 2012 Chevrolet Volt, sales of both cars combined to account for just 0.6 percent of all advanced drive vehicles during November. 

2011 Nissan Leaf SL

2011 Nissan Leaf SL

However, while proportionally small, these two plug-in vehicles helped raise the average fuel economy of cars sold in November to 22.5 mpg. 

Slightly lower than the 23 mpg average record achieved in March this year, the average fuel economy of cars sold in November reflects an upward trend in improving fuel economy, driven by increased sales of hybrid, electric and small, high-mpg cars. 


Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter.