While the green car market still makes up a small slice of overall car sales, a study from the University of Michigan says that one-third of non-hybrid car owners plan to purchase a hybrid for their next vehicle.
Reserachers surveyed 1,000 current hybrid drivers and another 1,000 conventional car buyers, and the results found that 83% of hybrid car owners plan to buy another one. Yet just 3% of hybrid buyers plan to make the jump into a fully electric vehicle, meaning that hybrid cars a tremendous customer satisfaction, but aren;t necessarily the stepping stone to EVs some might think.
The more surprising results come out of the non-hybrid driving group, with 31% saying that they plan to buy a hybrid vehicle of some time the next time around. There are now more options than ever when it comes to buying a hybrid car, but last year the green car market made up just 3.8% of total auto sales, and overall sales numbers have slipped even though plug-in car sales have risen. What gives?
So what is the primary motivation for buying a hybrid? A lower environmental impact was cited by 33% of respondents, and lower operating costs made up another 28%, with 25% citing lower overall energy use as their main reason. Save the world, save money, drive a hybrid. Simple as that, right?
Yet it’s one thing to say you plan to buy a hybrid, and another thing entirely to actually buy one. Will hybrid vehicle sales reach 30% of the American market by the end of the decade? Going off of this study, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking so. The problem is, the average age of cars in America has reached a record high of 11.4 years, so that next hybrid car people talk about buying? Well, it might be awhile before they actually get around to it.