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Low Gas Means Fewer AFVs, Bigger Cars

by Green Car Journal EditorsJanuary 10, 2015
It’s no mystery that automotive buying trends are influenced by many factors, especially the cost of gas. Sales of efficient vehicles are waning again.

Well, this should be no surprise. Reuters reports what we’ve suspected all along because there’s a long history of this happening: Low gasoline prices are negatively impacting the sale of alternative fuel vehicles including those running on natural gas and electricity.

Not surprisingly, with lower gasoline prices comes a decided uptick in purchases of larger and lower efficiency vehicles, especially SUVs. Beyond personal transportation, the commercial sector is also being hit hard because the cost differential involved in buying large natural gas trucks presently fails to pencil out well compared to conventionally powered models.

Is this a trend? Only short term, really. Green Car Journal editors have noted such occurrences over the past two decades and the trend has always ebbed and flowed with varying fuel prices, incentives, and other factors. While the long-term prospects for battery electric vehicles hinge on lower cost batteries in the future, hybrids and high efficiency conventional vehicles are here to stay.