Most Hybrid Drivers in Boston Don't Buy Hybrids Again, Says

Most Hybrid Drivers in Boston Don't Buy Hybrids Again, Says

Most Hybrid Drivers in Boston Don't Buy Hybrids Again, Says

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — April 17, 2012 — Only 38.4 percent of hybrid vehicle owners in Boston chose to purchase a hybrid again when they returned to the car market in 2011, according to an analysis of new car registration data provided by Polk. The rate exceeds the national average of 35 percent, but suggests that hybrid car owners — both in Boston and nationwide — are finding attractive and affordable alternatives among the selection of gasoline-powered vehicles.

"Even as gas prices soar, the economics of buying a hybrid vehicle don't make much sense in many cases," says Chief Economist Lacey Plache. "The lineup of hybrid vehicles and their premium price points just aren't appealing enough to consumers, especially given the growing strength of fuel economy among compact and midsize competitors." found several examples where the "payback period" — or the amount of time in which a driver can use fuel savings to make up the price premium between a hybrid and its gasoline-powered alternative — exceeds the six-year average that car owners typically hold on to their vehicles. With gasoline at $4.00 per gallon, it would take 10 years to make up the more than $4,000 price difference between a Honda Civic Hybrid and a Honda Civic. It would take seven years at $4.00/gallon to close the gap between a $22,800 Toyota Prius and a $16,800 Toyota Corolla.

By's count, 46 of 327 vehicles on sale in the 2011 and 2012 model years were capable of delivering 30 miles per gallon, combined city and highway fuel efficiency, according to the EPA's formula. That is a nearly 30 percent increase from mid-2011, when compiled its first list of 30-mpg combined vehicles. In 2010, only one vehicle — the Smart ForTwo — achieved 40 mpg. Today the 40 mpg club is up to nine vehicles and growing.

Does it make economic sense to trade in your gas-guzzling car for a more fuel-efficient vehicle? helps car buyers crunch the numbers with its Gas Guzzler Calculator.

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  • codyroo codyroo Posts:

    Ugh. What a crap article. 1) No one has yet to tell me when the buyback period is for the upgraded leather, heated seats with built in lumbar support in my car. Ditto that for the ceramic tint I had put on the windows. 2) Which hybrids are they driving? A Chevy "mild hybrid" which improved the fuel mileage by 2 mpg? An SUV or a truck hybrid? A Honda civic or Toyota Prius hybrid, which return high MPG's? 3) Fuel prices were low in 2011 (not as low at 2009, but lower than 2012) which is what the article states as their sample timeframe. I agree, there are some great looking cars that get nice MPG's, but if they did a repeat of this study for car buyers in the first half of 2012, would they see different results? Fuel prices going up ($4.40 in the SF Bay Area), new hybrid models on the market (Hyundai has some nice looking cars, new Prius C and V, redesigned Camry hybrid, Ford Fusion hybrid, etc) I bet this story would change. It would be nice to see the author tease out the data a bit in the article. Like what car the people previously had and what they ended up buting.

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