Car buying company Edmunds.com released data today that shows that Americans are dumping electric and hybrid vehicles for gasoline powered vehicles at a growing rate.
EVs and hybrids accounted for just 2.7 percent of all new car sales in the first quarter of 2015, down from 3.3 percent during that same period last year. The share of SUVs, meanwhile, has increased from 31.8 percent in Q1 2014 to 34.2 percent in Q1 2015.
Furthermore, those trading in so-called “green vehicles” are now more likely to trade them in for an SUV than another expensive alternative vehicle.
About 22 percent of people who have traded in their hybrids and EVs in 2015 bought a new SUV. The number represents a sharp increase from 18.8 percent last year, and it is nearly double the rate of 11.9 percent just three years ago. Overall, only 45 percent of this year’s hybrid and EV trade-ins have gone toward the purchase of another alternative fuel vehicle, down from just over 60 percent in 2012. Never before have loyalty rates for alt-fuel vehicles fallen below 50 percent.
Gas prices have fallen, but alternative vehicle costs have not – even with huge incentives from the government. As more Americans struggle to make credit card payments, a car that does less and costs more than a cross-over SUV just doesn’t make sense.