For a surprising number of U.S. hybrid car owners, the experience is one and done.
According to recent analysis by Polk Automotive, last year just 35 percent chose to buy another hybrid when it came time for a new car. Loyalty dropped even more, to about 33 percent, in eco-conscious cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland.
Despite a desire to help the environment, lighten fuel bills or reduce dependence on foreign oil, hybrid owners’ decision to buy a second one comes down to dollars and cents.
“There are a lot of gasoline-powered vehicles out there that are much more fuel efficient, and cost thousands of dollars less than their hybrid counterparts,” says Lacey Plache, chief economist with Edmunds.com.
Industry expert and UC Berkeley Prof. Harley Shaiken says the payback period for a hybrid often exceeds 6 years– the average time car owners hold on to their vehicle.
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