Green Car Blues
POSTED: Monday, May 16, 2011 - 8:04am
UPDATED: Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 6:37am
There's some pretty strong evidence that Americans just aren't buying into an idea to relieve pain at the pump and benefit the environment.
You'd think that with gas prices this high that sales of hybrid or electric cars would really get charged up.
So far, they make up only about two percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S.
"Now we do see that moving up to about eight to nine percent by 2016”, predicts JD Power and Associates’ John Humphrey. “But by no means is that going to become the predominant choice for consumers in the car market."
Just last month, General Motors sold only 500 of its highly promoted hybrid compact, the Chevy Volt -- while April sales of its all-gas compact, the Chevy Cruze, topped 25,000.
Research by marketing firm JD Power and Associates found a not-so-surprising reason: sticker price.
Case in point: Chevy’s gas-powered Cruze is priced about $16,000, with their electric Volt at $41,000.
Nissan's electric Leaf is priced around $33,000, with their decked-out, gas-powered Versa around $13,000.
Of course, however, tax credits can reduce the price of the alternatives by up to $10,000.
"Until the price on these premium alternative power train vehicles comes down, we don't see a mass adoption or migration from traditional vehicles to alternative power train vehicles", says Humphrey.
But choice and supply could drive down price as 160 models of hybrids and electrics are expected by 2016, compared to around 30 as is the case currently.