Cheap Gas has Americans Defecting from Hybrids and EVs

Cheap Gas has Americans Defecting from Hybrids and EVs

Electrified vehicles may not be as popular in the U.S. as you think.

With gas prices continuing to drop, Americans are turning back towards standard gasoline cars instead of electrified vehicles. According to, nearly 75 percent of hybrid or electric car owners that traded in their cars hopped into a standard gasoline car. That marks an 18-percent jump compared to 2015, despite more electrified vehicles being available in today’s market. A likely reason for the change of heart is the continual drop of gas prices and the fact that many electrified vehicles still demand a premium over traditional gasoline cars.

SEE ALSO: Toyota has Sold Over 9M Hybrids Worldwide

There are approximately 442,000 electrified vehicles on today’s roadways in the U.S., a far cry from the one-million goal President Obama set for 2015. So far in 2016, electric and hybrid sales have dropped 2.4 percent when it comes to new-car purchases.

The New York Times reports that hybrid owners are having a difficult time getting rid of leases on hybrids like the Toyota Prius. Others have turned to crossovers and SUVs as their families grow.

Still, it will be interesting to see if perceptions change with the introduction of the Tesla Model 3 to the market, or even the Chevrolet Bolt. Considering Tesla received nearly as many pre-orders as there are electrified vehicles today, things could be changing around the nation. That is, if the affordable Tesla and fully electric Chevrolet live up to expectations.

[Source: The New York Times]

Discuss this story on our Alternative Fuel Forum

  • CDspeed

    Gas will never be as cheap as electricity, and once you go electric you loose interest in new daily drivers that are powered by anything else. I could see drivers moving away from hybrids, why pay more to sip a little less fuel. Hybrids chase MPGs, electric cars come with a new driving experience, it doesn’t matter what gas costs EVs are fun to drive, and it’s nice never stopping at a fueling station ever again.

  • RobSez

    It seems to me this would be the perfect time to end oil subsidies. With oil cheap and plentiful, the 100+ year old practice of the government offsetting exploration & extraction costs for the public good is unnecessary. The reason we underwrite a portion of the oil industry has always been to promote low cost interstate trade of goods & services and to keep us competitive internationally. Now we have national strategic reserves over flowing and oil companies capping wells because they’ve run out of places to store the glut. Gas stations are everywhere and petrol burning vehicles account for 99.4% of all vehicles on the road. We don’t need to raise taxes at the pump to pay for road & bridge infrastructure repair and expansion. We can use the roughly $24 billion annually of direct and indirect subsidies we’ve been paying for decades. All we need is a government with the intestinal fortitude to say NO to the Koch brothers and big oil. I’m not getting my hopes up.

  • Eco Bust

    I hate headlines like these; gas is not “cheap”, it’s merely cheapER than a few years ago. With stupid americans flocking to useless suvs like republicans to a gun sale, its easy to see why some might consider it cheap.

  • DoubleCoppers

    I’m a tax accountant. What you stated is a common misconception, which has been repeated so many times it has nearly become “common knowledge,” but it is *absolutely incorrect* to say the govt offsets E&E costs for the public good. Instead, the tax code allows ALL businesses to pay for normal business costs (normal is defined for each type of business) and not pay tax on money spent that way. It doesn’t matter if it’s a real estate company buying paint for the buildings, or a restaurant buying vegetables, or money spent on advertising–NO business pays taxes on the money spent for conducting the business.

    One of the reasons oil is cheap and plentiful is because companies have spent money on E&E technology to find and obtain more oil. If you want to penalize them for this, then you have a not-so-hidden agenda to reduce the supply. And if you don’t want “us” (the govt and the taxpayers) to “subsidize” (it really isn’t a subsidy) anyone’s costs, you can start on your tax return by not claiming the standard or itemized deduction, personal exemptions, the mortgage interest/real estate tax/charitable deductions, the earned income or child tax credit, or any other write-offs—because ALL of these are direct and indirect subsidies we’ve been paying for decades. All we need is for you to have the intestinal fortitude to forgo those subsidies, and to require everyone else to forgo them, and “we” can save $1.3 Trillion per year. And we can save another $Trillion per year if we stop subsidizing Planned Parenthood, solar cells, Solyndra, Solar City, all the university research labs that are working on windmills, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, Obamaphone, student loans, etc. So that $24 billion you’re so worried about is truly a droplet in the ocean.

  • DoubleCoppers

    You don’t consider an EV charging station at work, or the mall, or along the highway, or at home to be a “fueling station?” What is it, then?

    Cheap electricity, yeah…have you priced a set of replacement batteries for an EV, or a home 220 volt charging station plus installation, or the replacement cost of a regenerative charger for your EV, or the electric controller or an electric drive motor? How about enough solar cells to provide all the electricity for that EV, or the expanded electric grid infrastructure to support 100% electric cars in the U.S.? Check out those costs, and the word “cheap” won’t cross your lips again.

    The only reason electricity is still semi-cheap is because of the cheap natural gas, used to run the electricity generators, that comes from oil extraction technology. Govt regulations and extreme environmentalists are forcing hydroelectric, nuclear, and coal-burning electric generators to close down. Of course, the Chinese love that the U.S. and Europe are closing coal plants, since that makes coal dirt-cheap for them, and they’re building two new coal plants per week to take advantage of that–and no expensive exhaust gas scrubbers for them! I hope you like wearing a facemask and respirator to deal with all the pollution they’re unleashing on us, and the $800 per month electricity bill we’ll be paying to cover that “cheap” electricity and infrastructure.

  • RobSez

    My “not so hidden agenda” is simple. I am against ALL forms of corporate welfare. I have no problem with companies spending money on E&E. I do have a problem with paying for the E&E and then paying for the product on top of that. I also don’t believe in ‘too big to fail’. A company is either profitable or it’s not. If it’s not, that’s called “A Failure”. If GM & Chrysler had been allowed to go under, the profitable auto makers like Toyota, Honda, Nissan, VW, etc. could have bought their assets for pennies on the dollar and might actually be producing more cars today at a lower cost in the US. If the big banks and investment swindlers had been allowed to fail, thousands of small banks that were playing by the rules and who were actually in very good financial condition could have bought all but the ‘Toxic’ assets and let the people who were stupid and/or greedy enough to invest in that crap eat it. The little banks would be stronger and more diverse which would be a good thing. Consolidation kills competition, and we desperately need more competition in business and industry, not less.

    My ‘agenda’ is to keep more of the money I make. Period. I am sick and tired of the government taking my money and giving it to people who don’t need it and aren’t smart enough to invest it wisely. I’m also sick and tired of the government being the puppet of people we should be sending to jail, not bailing out so they can pay themselves bonuses for their failure.

    You and I agree we should ‘stop subsidizing Planned Parenthood, solar cells, Solyndra, Solar City, all the university research labs that are working on windmills, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, Obamaphone, student loans, etc.’ All R&D for profit should be funded privately by investors. We also need single-payer health care like all the other 1st world countries to remain competitive, Welfare for individuals should be an “Opt-In” check box on the driver’s license application or I-9. Speaking of Taxes, I have a very good tax guy who cringes every time I get on a rant about the flat tax. Flat is flat, as in if we’ve now decided that corporations are people too, they need to pay taxes like people do.

    $24 billion dollars “is only a droplet” to people who don’t need it and are completely disconnected from reality of the value of a dollar. To the rest of us who work hard for a living it is a big deal.

  • CDspeed

    Paranoid much? Your entire reply is speculation, with no facts. And no, a charging station is nothing like a fueling station, have you used one, I’ve been driving electric for two years now. In two years my car has been in for one service, and that was just a regular scheduled service. Batteries are known to have a ten year life span, and if they go wrong they have there own warranty to cover them. Try reading some non-anti electric car articles for a change.