When hybrid and electric cars first arrived on the scene, many wondered whether they would fade into oblivion as a novelty or a fad—or even a sort of toy for those well-to-do types and the environmentally conscious. Time has proven that hybrid and electric cars are here to stay. Let’s look at how they’ve gained traction in the marketplace—and what the future looks like for these cars.
Sales on the Rise
It might surprise you to learn that the hybrid Toyota Prius was the third best selling family car in the world in the first quarter of 2010. The latest generation of plug-in electric cars (which garnered similar dubious reactions as did hybrids when they debuted) has been selling at more than double the rate hybrids did when they first became widely available to the public.
In 2013, the number of electric cars on the road worldwide numbered 405,000. The Nissan Leaf alone makes up over 100,000 of those sales. Total hybrid car sales in the year 2014 were over 500,000. Every top car company boasts at least one hybrid model, and there are a handful of solid contenders in the fully electric category.
Why the Increase?
The reason for the increase in sales of electric and hybrid vehicles is manifold. According to DealFinder, a provider of marketing solutions for your business, prices for these models have come down as environmental awareness has increased. Gas prices have gone up and tax and other financial incentives have been offered to those buying hybrid and electric models.
Environmentally minded people appreciate the 30-50% decrease in carbon emissions that come from electric vehicles, and the greater fuel efficiency—resulting in a 25% decrease in emissions—of hybrid cars. With the concern over global warming being felt more than ever, governments all over the world are offering subsidies, tax breaks, and other financial incentives to those buying hybrid and electric cars.
Speaking of fuel efficiency, those interested mainly in saving money are realizing that hybrid cars cost much less, overall, to fuel due to their markedly higher miles per gallon average over conventional (internal combustion) vehicles. Electric cars also offer a measure of energy independence, with owners able to charge their vehicles at home.
As mentioned above, it’s not just environmentalists who are purchasing these cars. Five of the top fifteen markets are in the South and Midwest. These include St. Louis, Chicago, Atlanta, and Nashville. These numbers make more sense when you look at the incentives being offered in these areas. Georgia has generous incentives for electric car buyers, one of which is car pool lane access in notoriously congested Atlanta. Tennessee is home to the Nissan LEAF factory.
Not surprisingly, California also boasts a high percentage of hybrid and electric car buyers. Nearly one in ten cars purchased in San Francisco is a hybrid. Other big markets include Oregon and Washington.
The hybrid and electric cars skew differently when it comes to demographics, with the majority of electric car owners being between the age of 36-55 years and 45% of hybrid car owners being aged 55 or older. This goes along with the general thinking of electric cars being seen as more of a technological status symbol while hybrids are generally purchased by those wishing to save some money while helping out the planet.
Electric cars are gaining traction, with sales that are quickly catching up to those of the more affordable and familiar hybrids. A tipping point is being reached, with prices coming down and convenient charging stations for electric cars being constructed. The projection to hit 3.8 million electric cars on the road by 2023 doesn’t seem unattainable.
The days of electric and hybrid vehicles’ rarity on the roads may be over. Instead, these cars can begin to be seen as fuel efficient, environmentally savvy alternatives to traditional cars.
This article was contributed on behalf of DealFinder, your number one choice when looking for something that adds equity to your dealership. Check out their website and see how they can help you!