Are people still buying hybrids with these lower gas prices? Does it still make sense to spend extra to buy a hybrid?
Gas prices were lower earlier in the year, but they are back up to $2.32 per gallon on average in Massachusetts for the past two weeks. The fleet of hybrid electric vehicles in the United States, with over 4 million units sold through April 2016, is the second largest in the world after Japan (over 5 million). American sales of hybrid electric vehicles represent about 36% of the more than 11 million hybrid sold worldwide through April 2016. While gas prices have crept up, hybrids appeal to consumers who want to save money with lower gas consumption as well as those whose interests are primarily concerned with the environment and clean air.
Hybrid sales in the American market achieved its highest market share ever in 2013, capturing 3.19% of new car sales that year, and dropped below 2% with the lower gas prices by April 2016, according to Wikipedia. Though the percentage seems low, the volume is significant. The top selling hybrid electric vehicle in the country is the Toyota Prius, with sales of 1,643 million cars since 2000 through April 2016, representing a 40.8% market share of all hybrids sold in the U.S. Toyota has been so successful in the hybrid market, that they now offer hybrids for the RAV4, Camry, Avalon, and Highlander models. In addition to three Prius models, Toyota is adding the new Mirai in a hybrid model to further expand it offering.
Besides the obvious fuel savings, there are several other reasons to buy a hybrid:
• Protect the environment by reducing your carbon “footprint”
• Achieve instant torque (speed/ acceleration)
• Eliminate idling which reduces emissions
• Earn tax incentives
• Access to drive in the HOV commuter lane
• Higher resale value.
On average, hybrids cost about $2,300 more with average annual fuel savings of more than $400. On average, the additional cost is offset in approximately 6 years if fuel savings is one’s only motivation. For many, driving a hybrid is part of one’s lifestyle and commitment to helping preserve our environment.
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle and considering a hybrid, Toyota offers many great choices! Visit us at Jaffarian Toyota and come in and see us to help you make the best decision for your driving needs and budget.