This is the billion dollar question, will the sales of hybrids, HEV and why not, electric vehicles, EV save the industry? And now that the price of gas is falling in the U.S., what will happen to the enthusiasm for these alternative cars?
The gist, as mentioned above the price of gas at the pump has come down lately, at least in the U.S.. However, it is still very high elsewhere. What will happen now that technology companies have partnered with the automotive industry to create lithium batteries for their HEV and EVs? It would seem at this stage that the infrastructure has been laid out, or at the very least a lot of resources have been diverted to alternative engines.
The numbers, according to StarNewsOnline, as overall car sales dropped this year nearly 7 percent from 2007, hybrids jumped 41.4 percent. HEV make up already 3% of cars on the road today. Though this may not be a lot, up until this year the reasons to buy an HEV or EV was mostly because its driver was interesting in helping out the environment. With this year’s scare that gas price after all, does go up, we wonder how consumers will react to dropping gas prices.
More numbers, according to an automobile research firm called R.L. Polk & Co. who has tracked a record 350,289 new hybrid car registrations nationwide in 2007 and hybrid and diesel-powered cars are expected to more than triple by 2015, according to J.D. Power and Associates.
The winners, obviously the winers are those that are the most fuel efficient such as the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Toyota Prius. The Prius accounts for 51.2 percent of the hybrid market share, according to Polk & Co.. The Honda Civic Hybrid can get 52 miles per gallon if driven correctly, which also makes a strong contender in this arena.
All in all, it would seem that even last year when the price of gas was still reasonable, though on a uprise rampage the last 5 years, HEVs have sold well and should continue to do so. The numbers would indicate that people will continue to shop around for fuel efficient vehicles. And for those who absolutely need an SUV, the Ford Explorer Hybrid makes the most sense at 34 mpg.