The Honda Civic Hybrid, which hit dealerships this month, is the first established mainstream vehicle to be equipped with a combination gasoline-electric power system. Some think it has the makings to be the first hybrid that will appeal to large numbers of Americans, according to the Associated Press.
The Civic Hybrid came to market in early April, and several dealers have backlogs. Maine Mall Motors in South Portland, for instance, has sold five so far; three haven't even been delivered yet.
Other dealers nationwide are reporting strong interest, and Honda is projecting sales of 2,000 per month. J.D. Power and Associates, in fact, is projecting that Americans will be buying half a million gas-electric hybrids a year from all manufacturers in four or five years. That would account for 3 percent of overall sales.