Decarbonized vehicles are gaining rapid traction around the world with both electric cars and hybrids. According to a few different sources, more than 54% of Americans are considering either an EV or a hybrid as their next car purchase which tends to showcase the growth pattern of decarbonized transport in recent years.
Electric cars are still the priciest of the lot because an average monthly payment for an EV is around $550 while a comparable hybrid monthly rate is as much as $100 less. This means that hybrids are a bit more attainable when compared to electric cars which means that the mid-to high-income US household is the fondest of hybrid cars.
On the other hand, the top 10% of households in the US as far as income is concerned buy 35-40% of all electric cars on sale. This comes as no surprise as most EV buyers own multiple cars and they are the ones that can adjust to the EV lifestyle the most.
If we take a look at a $175k per year household income group, they are buying 21% of all EVs on sale and only about 12% of hybrids on sale. This also showcases that the income group that buys hybrids is lower when compared to EVs, but higher when compared to ICE cars.
Income classes that buy hybrid cars
The average credit score of a hybrid buyer is around 741 which means that these buyers fall into the “Very Good” credit score group. As a spot of context those who enjoy credit scores above 750 are considered “excellent”. It is also worth mentioning that an average EV customer enjoys a credit score of around 750.
Even though most people expected that the income groups buying EVs and hybrids should be almost identical, they are not. EVs are bought by wealthier income groups primarily because many most desirable EVs on the market carry a significantly higher price tag when compared to the most popular hybrids out there.
However, many buyers out there are turning back towards ICE cars because most hybrids are not so “value-oriented” if you tend to buy and sell cars often. One study shows that an average hybrid vehicle costs $3700 extra when compared to a comparable ICE car which means that you need almost 9 years to recuperate the extra costs through fuel savings.
This only makes sense if you can use a hybrid for what it is intended to. Factors such as these are important when it comes to age groups that buy hybrids because they mostly lease and finance cars through a 3-5 year period.
Which US states and cities buy the most EVs and hybrids?
The US as a whole showcases a large disparity both in income class groups that buy decarbonized vehicles and in the places they usually reside. California is the most popular EV/Hybrid state in the US by quite a large margin which also tends to increase as time goes on.
Furthermore, Washington and Florida are trailing behind California as far as the fondness of alternative-powered cars is concerned. San Francisco – Oakland – San Jose region buys the highest amount of both hybrids and EVs in the entire US.
Charlottesville Virginia is behind the SF regions as far hybrid/EV sales are concerned. The vast majority of top-rated EV/hybrid-oriented cities and regions in the US are based in California. It seems like the customer demand for decarbonized transport in these regions is the strongest and is not likely to slow down anytime soon.
The logic behind buying hybrid cars – Is it worth it!?
Most people believe that by buying a hybrid they are both saving the environment and their bank account, but this is a lot more complicated than that. Even though hybrids do in theory save you money in the long run, they do cost around $3200 more when compared to a comparable ICE variant.
So, in order for them to be financially feasible, you need to recuperate these costs while owning a hybrid which can sometimes be difficult if you can’t rely on the hybrid powertrain all the time. As such, it takes 6-10 years for average hybrid owners to experience a mentionable saving if they opt for a hybrid over an ICE car.
However, where hybrids do hold a significant set of advantages is when you acquire them as company car fleets because they are way cheaper through government tax cuts. As such, the worthiness of buying a hybrid is down to each and every individual and how they tend to acquire and use cars on a daily basis.
Which age groups buy hybrids?
According to a few studies, more than 52% of all hybrid car customers are above 55 years old which means that hybrids are mostly preferred by the older generation. EV buyers tend to be a bit younger probably because the EV sensation is more relevant for the younger and wealthier customer.
However, this comes as no surprise because the 55 and above age group buys 44% of all new cars anyway. Men are also fonder of buying hybrid cars because around 31% of male customers are looking to buy a hybrid as their next car while around 26% of women are interested in buying a hybrid as their next car.
What are the drawbacks of hybrid cars?
Besides the aforementioned financial logic behind hybrid cars, they also carry a set of drawbacks most customers don’t even think about. Hybrids cost more money, they tend to offer less power while also being heavier, and are not all that efficient on a highway.
Battery replacement prices are still steep and the availability of hybrids is not all that encompassing. Lastly, they are more complex which usually means that they are more expensive to fix if something goes wrong.
Why should I buy a hybrid over an EV?
If you are someone who never experienced a hybrid or an EV, you are better off opting to buy a hybrid because hybrids are the perfect middle ground between full electrification and a traditional ICE car. This enables you to test the waters and see if you are someone who can benefit from the transition towards an EV early.
If you can maximize the use of a hybrid, you can move up to a full-on EV as your next car purchase. On the other hand, if you are not someone who plans to maximize the hybrid aspect, you are better off with an ICE car.