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Electric Vehicles Gaining Traction in 2013

 According to the latest sales figures for February 2013, even though overall electric vehicle sales are still falling short of annual goals set by  any automakers last year, electric vehicle sales have inched slightly ahead of last year's numbers.  Industry analysts are anticipating that a combination of higher gasoline prices and an ever-so-slightly rebounding economy might spur more sales of electric vehicles in the year ahead. More new electric vehicles will be making their debut this year as well, another factor that could increase consumer interest and boost sales.

General Motors enjoyed increased sales of the Volt and Nissan sold a few more Leaf vehicles in February, the two automakers combined sold more than 1,500 battery-based vehicles in the same month alone. That sales of electric vehicles are running ahead of last year's pace is pretty good news for GM considering the recent climate of negative publicity surrounding the Volt and the fact that slow sales caused GM to shut down Volt production for a few weeks. Looking at the numbers from year to year shows a brighter side of the picture, with the Leaf sales increasing by 617 percent over last year and Volt sales increasing by 264 percent.

The other automakers are not sitting idly by either, with Chrysler introducing an electric version of the Fiat 500 EV later this year, and the Ford Focus Electric, Toyota's all-electric Prius and Honda's plug-in RAV4-EV all debuting in 2013. Optimistic industry watchers believe this combination of factors might be enough to sustain market momentum and the sales of electric vehicles could go through the roof and perhaps even double by the end of the year.

Every major automaker reported sales increases in February and Nissan along with Kia and Hyundai set sales records during the month. All in all, the February sales numbers are a good sign that the forecast for the overall U.S. car market in 2013 could be accurate and some analysts are even predicting that the sales of all autos will grow by double digits by the end of this year. Even brands that saw sales slip during the recession are doing better. Mitsubishi and Suzuki both saw sales increases in February that exceeded their most optimistic forecasts and Toyota's Camry continued to sell briskly, while the Prius, Yaris and Scion all posted double digit increases in February too.

Although the February sales were up across the board for nearly every category of vehicle, it looks like high gas prices could be the tipping point that pushes electric vehicles to the top of the list as more new car buyers begin to consider electric vehicles as a truly viable purchase option going forward into 2013.

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