EV, hybrid loyalty falls with gas prices
Only 27.5 percent of all hybrid and electric vehicle trade-ins in 2016 have been applied to the purchase of another hybrid or EV, says a new analysis by Edmunds.com. Thatês a big drop from the 39.5 percent of hybrid and EV trade-ins in 2015, confirming a trend noted by Edmunds that alternative fuel vehicle owners are returning to gas-powered vehicles in greater numbers than ever.
This is not an indictment of the quality of these cars, said Edmunds.com Director of Industry Analysis Jessica Caldwell. This is an economic trend, since todayês low cost of gas no longer makes it worth paying the price premium of hybrids and EVs. And there are so many fuel-efficient vehicles on the market today that environmental concerns weigh less than they might have in years past.
Edmundsê trade-in data show that many hybrid and EV owners are jumping from one extreme to another. A hybrid or EV trade-in is more likely to go toward the purchase of an SUV than another hybrid or EV. Most of those making the switch from AFV to SUV are opting for the most fuel-efficient sub-segment of crossover SUVs. Even the car-heavy Washington area has seen a move toward more crossovers, as shown by WANADAês Area Reports.
There is one segment in the green car category that is doing very well: plug-in hybrids. A successful redesign of the Chevrolet Volt and the introduction of some new models like the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron and Hyundai Sonata Plug-in have helped the segmentês sales jump more than 40 percent in the first quarter from a year ago.Download Bulletin PDF