Tipping point?

Automakers sold 54,855 hybrids in August, reports Autodata Corp., a sales tracking firm. That is a 32% gain from the same month a year earlier and an industry record for any prior month.

Sales of rechargeable cars, which include plug-in hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt and electric-only vehicles such as the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf, also set a record last month, climbing to 11,392, a 147% gain from the same period a year ago.

Auto information company Edmunds.com says electric cars make up just 0.4% of the U.S. auto market now, but will grow to 1.5% by 2017.

Together, hybrids and electric cars accounted for about 4% of U.S. auto sales last month.

Several factors are behind that growth.

Ford has joined Toyota as a big seller of hybrids. The head-to-head competition between the two automakers is catching the attention of consumers.

Expect the market to take another leap when the hybrid version of the Honda Accord – which is rated at 50 miles per gallon in city driving – reaches showrooms in the coming months.

Going electric? Hybrid and electric cars set sales records in August – latimes.com.

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