Loyalty to electric cars is waning as owners switch off and turn to SUVs, according to a new report.
The analysis from car buying platform Edmunds.com, highlighted by Boston Globe subsidiary Boston.com, reveals just 27.5 percent of hybrid and electric vehicle (EV) trade-ins were used toward buying a new hybrid or electric car in the first quarter of 2016. This falls short of the 38.5 percent of hybrid and EV trade-ins used to purchase similar vehicles in 2015.
And the report shows these trade-ins are “more likely to be applied to the purchase of an SUV (33.8 percent) than another alternative fuel car,” as Boston.com’s Sanjay Saloman points out in his article “Why electric car owners are switching back to SUVs.”
Declining loyalty to EVs and hybrids is not a reflection of the standard of alternative fuel vehicles on the market, though, according to Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds.com director of industry analysis. “This trend is not an indictment of the quality of these cars – hybrid and electric vehicles tend to be equipped with some of the most sought-after technology on the market today,” she says in a statement reported by Boston.com.
Rather, low gas prices are said to be helping to shape this trend, making larger vehicles more affordable to run. So too is the significant growth in popularity of the SUV, which is taking market share from many auto segments besides electric vehicles, Caldwell explains.
Furthermore, the improved fuel efficiency of vehicles on the market means buyers feel they are “making an eco-friendly choice without buying an alternative fuel car,” says Caldwell.
Some new EVs to light the way
If you are considering buying an electric vehicle, there are some new or updated 2017 models coming to dealer lots this year and beyond, and Discovery News rounds up some choice models in “Eagerly awaited: 4 electric cars for 2017.” While only three EVs have sold more than 10,000 vehicles since 2010 (Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S and BMW i3), Discovery’s Eric Tucker thinks the new arrivals from Chevrolet, Hyundai, BMW and Ford will “change those equations.”