5. Detroit is losing the powertrain tech wars
5. Detroit is losing the powertrain tech wars
Despite all the negative publicity surrounding electric vehicles, fuel economy and clean air still count with consumers. Automotive News reports that sales of EVs, plug-in hybrids, and hybrids climbed 44% in the first quarter, compared with a year ago. The Prius line, which now includes a wagon, coupe, and plug-in (above), has become Toyota's second-most popular brand after Camry. Detroit has yet to crack the alternative fuel code.

By Alex Taylor III, senior editor-at-large @FortuneMagazine - Last updated April 26 2012: 9:42 AM ET
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