ExtremeTech.com says that “traditional” hybrids are dying.
Here’s Extreme Tech’s logic …
The traditional hybrid is being squeezed between super-efficient traditional vehicles on one side, and battery or plug-in hybrid technologies on vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt on the other.
Hybrid cars give a boost to fuel economy.
They also give the owner the cachet of being a friend of the Earth.
Until recently, hybrids allowed access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes at rush hour even when you’re driving solo.
But traditional gasoline-engine cars are more efficient than ever, the HOV lane freebie for hybrid cars is going away, and the price premium remains.
There’s also concern that hybrids are costlier to maintain.
To make back the hybrid price premium, you may have to drive 100,000 miles.
As for cachet, it’s gone now that some 2.5 million traditional hybrids have been sold in the US since 1999, the exclusivity and wow factors belong to the Leaf, Volt, and their nosebleed counterparts from Tesla and Fisker.
Then there’s the Toyota factor: There’s not much of a mainstream hybrid market once Toyota gets done.
Of the 2.5 million hybrids sold since the very first Honda Insights arrived stateside in 1999, Toyota and sibling Lexus accounted for two-thirds of them.
When Toyota and Lexus step back from the dinner table, 16 other automakers are fighting over the remaining 175,000 hybrid sales..
If the hybrid doesn’t always have a clear cost-benefit edge over gas engine cars, the combination of electrics and plug-ins have increasing appeal, especially urban dweller in a megacity, which in the US centers on New York.
Factoid: The Chevy Volt logged 1,519 sales in November … and 20,828 in all of 2012.
In Nov. 2010 GM sold 478 million common shares at $33 each … the share have to break $50 for taxpayers to breakeven