Gas Prices are Up and Hybrid Sales are Down

Russ Steele

I have posted the latest gas price results HERE. It is interesting that California’s gas prices are going up faster than US prices. Not sure why, but I did find this an interesting statistic, with gas prices soaring, the sale of hybrid vehicles are not soaring as drivers seek more fuel efficient vehicles.

Smart Money has more detail and some insight why car buyer are much smarter than bureaucrats at CARB think they are.  Buying a hybrid does not pencil out.

It takes years for a driver to recover that premium, often longer than he or she might intend to own the car. At $4 a gallon, they’ll need four to 12 years to break even on most average hybrid models, according to For instance, the best-selling hybrid, the Toyota Prius – which just recorded its best month since 2007 — costs $6,000 more than the comparably-equipped gas-powered Toyota Corolla. At $4 a gallon, the buyer who drives about 15,000 miles a year would need seven years to break even and start seeing a payback in gas savings. That drops to six years if gas prices hit $5 a gallon but rises to nine years if gas prices fall to $3 a gallon.

Experts estimate that gas will have to be over five dollars a gallon, or maybe as highs as seven dollars a gallon, before buyer flock to hybrids. Stay Tuned,  we are on our way to five dollars a gallon.


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

2 Responses to Gas Prices are Up and Hybrid Sales are Down

  1. sean2829 says:

    I think people are pretty good doing a cost benefit analysis when purchasing a car and it shows up their buying habits. I’ve often maintained that the technology to produce very efficient cars already exists and an expensive solution like hybird-electric systems have to compete with less expensive technology of smaller engines with turbo charging, new valve configurations, movable leuvres on the grill and shutting off the engine when stopped for a traffic light. It will be interesting watching these technologies evolve and competing with one another over the next few years.

  2. Buyers who choose Nissan’s all-electric Leaf ($28,421) over its approximate gas-powered equivalent, Nissan’s Versa ($18,640), will likely wait nearly 9 years until they break even, according to a new report by The New York Times that examines the cost of fuel efficiency.

    For drivers of the Chevrolet Volt ($31,767), the wait is even longer— 26.6 years.

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