As automakers strive to decrease emissions, thousands of hybrid vehicles are making their way into people’s garages.
Hybrid vehicles aren’t the only choice in low-emissions, low-fuel-consumption vehicles. Drivers can also choose plug-in hybrid vehicles or pure electric vehicles. Apparently these other choices haven’t been all that popular, in spite of the fuel savings and emissions savings they offer.
It might be hard to compare sales of models from different brands, but in the case of Toyota Prius sales in the UK, it’s easy to see the disparity between models. The Prius hybrid sold 13,000 units in 2012, while in the eight months since its debut in the UK, the Prius Plug-In has sold just 470 units.
Why the disparity between the Toyota Prius selling 1,083/mo and the Toyota Prius Plug-In selling just 58/mo? Could be the ≈$9,000 price difference? A $7,700 plug-in subsidy could help with sales numbers, but it appears that customers in the UK are just like the rest of us who can’t see past the upfront costs, which is totally understandable.
The Royal Automotive Club Foundation expects this trend to continue and predicts that up to 50% of all vehicle sales in the UK will be hybrid vehicles, but just 10% will be plug-in hybrids.
This isn’t too surprising. While users have been modifying existing Prius models to plugins for some time (Toyotapriusplugin.com has some good examples), its still a pretty big jump to an official plugin Prius price-wise. The cost of full-electric vehicles needs to come down before the average consumer is willing to step up to the plate and buy one.
PluginGuy The price difference doesn’t make very much sense when you compare their refueling costs either: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=33324&id=33335 Battery technology and management is getting there, but it’ll be awhile before they’re just as affordable as conventional vehicles today.