NADAguides is a vehicle information website where customers can go to look up car prices and specifications. They have released some statistics on what their users are looking for, and apparently the interest in compact cars has increased by 96% between January and March 2008. This number is broken down further in 3 sub-categories: "Consumer interest in its mini-compact category increased 128 percent, while consumer interest in its sub-compact and compact categories increased 83 percent and 77 percent respectively."Out of the 25 most searched for vehicles on the site were 5 compact cars. The models that saw the biggest increase in attention were the Mazda 3, Toyota Yaris, Honda Civic Sedan and Toyota Corolla. This isn't exactly the best news ever, but a move away from over-sized vehicles in the US would certainly be a step in the right direction.
Meanwhile, hybrid sales jumped by 10% in March compared to the same month last year during while light-duty vehicle sales in general were down 12%. That's still just 2.8% of all new vehicle sold during that month, though.
That's clearly not enough. What we need is not slightly more efficient and cleaner cars, though that would be a good start. What we need are radically greener means of transportation. For example, a plug-in hybrid with a decent all-electric range from non-toxic recyclable batteries could spend days, if not weeks, without burning a drop of gasoline. Now that's the kind of improvement that would really move us a step forward.