Make up your Mind: Are Hybrids and EV's Up, or Down?

By Jason Davis | April 26, 2012
Yesterday, we wrote about the great Hybrid and EV comeback, not that it ever really went anywhere, buoyed by strong March sales and increased consumer demand. But that was sooooooo yesterday, because today, someone else on the internet wrote something different, claiming recession-weary car buyers find hybrids and EV's impractical. Hmm. This sounds like the lamest soap opera ever, a battle royale of competing political party PR firms sounding off on the efficacy of advanced technology found in hybrid and electric vehicles. Yesterday, it was all, like, hybrids and EV's were up 44-percent last quarter, and today, it's like, whatever man, hybrids only accounted for 3.1-percent of light-vehicle sales through March, while EVs represented just 0.5-percent. Smart people who know how to count numbers suggest that consumers are no longer feeling the Al Gore heartstrings thumping their make-a-difference consciences. “As a result of the financial crisis, our paradigm has shifted,” says Scott Miller, president and chief operating officer of Vision Critical International, a consumer research firm, in an interview with SAE World Congress. “Our ability, collectively as 400,000 consumers, to go out and say, ‘I know it might not make financial sense, but I’ll purchase one because it is the right thing to do’ is gone." Miller believes that hybrid owners are abandoning the technology at an alarming rate, due mostly to insufficient purchase planning. Today, it is more commonly known than 10 years ago that hybrid and EV fuel and maintenance savings are not recouped until an average of seven years after the purchase. Which begs the question: If new car hybrid and EV sales are up, and hybrid and EV trade-in's are astronomically high, then what's going to happen to all the poor abandoned baby Prii flooding the used-car market? Source: Wards Auto