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Many EV and hybrid owners go back to gas-powered cars, study finds

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Electric vehicles (EV), hybrids, and other alternative-fuel vehicles are not proving very popular at the moment. In fact, according to a new study by Edmunds.com, only 27.5% of all hybrid and EV trade-ins in 2016 have been applied to the purchase of another hybrid or EV, compared to 38.5% in 2015.

Cheap gas prices in Canada, the U.S., and Europe seem to have swayed drivers looking for better savings at the pump. Many also turn to larger vehicles such as SUVs.

According to Edmunds.com, most of those making the switch from alt-fuel vehicles to SUVs are opting for the most fuel-efficient sub-segment of compact crossover SUVs. Only about 1.4% went toward a gas-guzzling purchase of a large SUV or crossover SUV.

"This trend is not an indictment of the quality of these cars — hybrid and electric vehicles tend to be equipped with some of the most sought-after technology on the market today," says Edmunds.com Director of Industry Analysis Jessica Caldwell. "This is an economics trend, since today's low cost of gas no longer makes it worth paying the price premium of hybrids and EVs. And there are so many fuel-efficient vehicles on the market today that environmental concerns weigh less than they might have in years past. When you're buying a vehicle that can get over 30 mpg (approx. 7.8L/100km), you can still say you're doing your part to help the environment." 

What’s your view on this trend? Do you think that consumers will reconcile with EVs and hybrids when gas prices spike again?