The electric cars and hybrids are achieving record sales in the United States amidst costly fuel prices. The proliferation of models has helped to bring down costs. Hybrids are now costing maybe four thousand dollars more than their petrol counterparts. Even then, buyers are getting attracted to them. This attraction is because of the narrowing gap in price with conventional cars and also due to the rise in the fuel prices.
Americans are buying a record number of electric and hybrid cars as petrol prices are climbing. As new hybrid models arrive in the showrooms, the sales of these vehicles have been highest yet in the United States auto market. In the month of March alone, about a month back, a record fifty two thousand petrol-electric hybrids and all electric-cars were bought by consumers. Around the same time last year, the figure of sales was thirty four thousand cars.
Both the categories combined are making up about four per cent of total United States’ sales. Since July 2009, the `cash for clunkers’ program has encouraged people to trade in old gas guzzlers for more fuel efficient cars. Though the market share of the hybrid cars still remains small, the encouraging sales are a big leap at the start of this year.
Buyers are being drawn to the new models like the Toyota Prius C subcompact, the Prius V wagon and Camry hybrid. Nissan Leaf electric is also doing well in sales.
People are estimating that they will save at least one hundred and fifty dollars a month on petrol cost with these hybrid cars. They are expecting the gas prices to stay high. This is the factor that is heavily influencing their purchase of hybrid cars. As the cost of gasoline is rising, their future savings are going to increase.
Stronger sales of the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf are a positive sign for electric car makers. These two cars were struggling last year to gain acceptance from buyers who were paranoid about how far they will be able to drive on a battery charge. Another factual problem that worried buyers was that General Motors had to change Volt’s charging system because its batteries caught fire after crash tests by the government.
General Motors sold 7,670 Volts last year. But, last month itself, they broke the budget by selling two thousand two hundred and ninety cars in a single month alone. Chevrolet Volt has got a boost also from California’s decision to make it eligible for high occupancy vehicle lanes.
Petrol prices are also helping sales of the hybrid cars. The nationwide average for a gallon of gas has jumped up by twenty cents last month and the price is now $4.00 or above. Hybrid cars are going to become guides to smarter ways of getting around. The trend is only beginning and the numbers are likely to rise.
A Kelley Blue Book survey has found that if gas prices hit four dollars a gallon, which they have now, eighty per cent of consumers said that it would affect their next car purchase. When the gas price hits five dollars a gallon, ninety five per cent of buyers said that it would change their car choices.