Falling Fuel Prices Have More Consumers Choosing SUVs Over Electric Vehicles

Sales of Toyota’s hybrid Prius have reportedly dropped alongside gas prices, which aligns with findings in a recent Automotive News. The report shows that consumers may have short memories, falling prices at the pump are already cutting into hybrid and plug-in sales, and Americans are starting to buy more trucks and SUVs.

One Toyota dealership general manager told Automotive News that since the price of fuel fell, customers have been more interested in the trucks and SUVs in the showroom than in the brand’s iconic Prius hybrid.

Gas prices are the lowest they’ve been since February 2011, and analysts are forecasting that the drop is more than just the usual autumn fall, instead indicative of a larger trend of lower prices–and more price stability–thanks to better American oil production, lower global demand for oil and cars and trucks that are more fuel-efficient than ever.

Not long ago, hybrid options stickered for more than comparable traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, but now dealers and manufacturers are using incentives to move the metal. According to Automotive News, Kelley Blue Book data shows that Toyota increased incentives on the Prius by almost $1,000 since last year, and Ford did the same by more than $2,200 on the C-Max hybrid.

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