Monday, June 9, 2008

Demand for hybrids: It's hot

This weekend, I happened to be hunting for a used hybrid online... and finding almost nothing available within 100 miles of Cambridge. (Our one vehicle right now is a great Honda Civic Hybrid, which averages about 38 mpg.)

Today, Rob Weisman of the Globe has a great story about how the demand for new hybrids is also insane. From the piece:

    "We can't get them in fast enough," said auto dealer Herb Chambers, owner of Herb Chambers Cos., based in Somerville. Chambers said hybrid orders are running ahead of last year at his Massachusetts and Rhode Island dealerships. "We could sell six or eight times as many Priuses if we could get the product from the manufacturer," he said.

    Industry analysts attribute the backup to supply-chain problems. Manufacturers have finally deployed hybrid technology on a wider scale, but they have failed to create a global supplier and transport network that can get parts to assembly lines and vehicles to dealerships in time to satisfy consumers spooked by $4-a-gallon gas prices.

Here's a fun historical piece I wrote for Salon four years ago about why GM thought hybrids weren't worth investing in.

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