Most Hybrid Drivers in Boston Don't Buy Hybrids Again, Says Edmunds.com
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 Edmunds.com 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 Edmunds.com 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."
Edmunds.com 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 Edmunds.com'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 Edmunds.com 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? Edmunds.com helps car buyers crunch the numbers with its Gas Guzzler Calculator.
About Edmunds.com, Inc. (http://www.edmunds.com/help/about/index.html)
Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its acclaimed mobile site, Edmunds.com Android App and five-star Edmunds iPhone and iPad apps make car pricing and other research tools available for car shoppers at dealerships and on the go. Its automotive enthusiast web site, InsideLine.com, is the most-read car publication of its kind. Its highly regarded mobile site and iPhone app features the wireless Web's most comprehensive gallery of automotive photos and videos. Edmunds.com Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit. Follow Edmunds.com on Twitter@edmunds and fan Edmunds.com on Facebook.