Has America Fallen Out Of Love With Gas-Gulping Pickup Trucks?

Faster than an F-150 full of drywall and Bud Lite cans.The biggest car market in America is California, and the top-selling car in California is now the Toyota Prius hybrid. Does this mean America has fallen out of love with the pickup truck that has dominated U.S. automobile sales since Reagan first made “living like Southerners who need a pickup truck” the keystone of his domestic policy? Maybe!

The F-series Ford pickup has been the best-selling American “car” since Reagan was president. The sales of Ford pickups even increased by 10% in 2012, because the recovery of the housing market allowed housing industry workers to replace their old pickups. We have a very weird (and completely unsustainable) economy in this country.

But in the nation’s most populous state that also has the highest gasoline prices and (in Southern California) lousy air quality and terrible commute times, the Toyota Prius hybrid was the top-selling automobile in 2012. It’s the first time a hybrid has topped the new-car sales list in America. Nationwide, sales of large cars are down by an incredible 87%, while nationwide sales of the Prius are up by 74%. Sales of pure-electric cars are still small, but rising fast enough that in seven years, the U.S. will have the world’s largest market for EV sales.

Photo by Zero Emission Resource Organisation.