Green Update: Hybrid Unpopularity Survey Questioned

2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

A somewhat flawed Polk survey shows that only 35 percent of hybrid buyers would buy one again. If you take Toyota Prius owners out of the mix, “hybrid loyalty drops to under 25 percent.”

The survey also reports that hybrid owners are looking to other kinds of vehicles, including higher-tech gasoline-powered cars, to get fuel costs down. Yes, we all know that new 4-cylinder turbo technology has improved. We also know that gas-powered cars cost a lot less than cars with batteries.

If initial cost and return on investment are the only factors, well, of course you won’t buy a hybrid or EV. If gas prices continue to rise, the cost differential will rapidly get smaller and ROI will improve.

Hybrids are also supplemental cars for many people; they fill a different role as second cars. Further, Polk doesn’t say how it measured its “repeat purchases.” Is the current hybrid owner buying another hybrid or replacing the hybrid already owned? As one commenter here (IT guy) put it: “how many people buy two consecutive Honda Fits?”

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