Alt-Fuelers Make Big Gains

April 7, 2008

Green is growing, according to new data released today by marketing analysts at R.L. Polk.

Polk says that according to its numbers, sales of alternative-fuel automobiles (AFAs) hit a record in 2007. Close to 1.8 million were sold in 2007, a 250,000-unit increase from 2006, according to R.L. Polk’s figures. Automakers hope to deliver over 2 million AFAs in 2008, which shouldn’t be hard with more than 70 different models available.

However, in a release put out today, Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is worried that “refueling infrastructure challenges may prevent the promise of these vehicles from being fully realized.” McCurdy said that there are over 170,000 gas stations in the U.S. but less than 1,500 of them ethanol. This is an unfortunate number in light of the rising popularity of E85 capable and flexible fuel vehicles, he says.

Automakers are not ready to quit working for better fuel economy and cleaner emissions anytime soon, he adds. McCurdy spent last year supporting a nationwide increase in standards that will increase fuel economy by 40 percent and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by year 2020.

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