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Study: Electric car owners younger, richer than hybrid drivers

EVs and hybrids cost more than typical models, but what are people paying?

By James_Tate Apr 24, 2014 8:21AM

Electric car buyers are by and large younger and more affluent than hybrid buyers, according to a new study by Experian Automotive.

The credit bureau released a study this week coinciding with Earth Day that looked at the demographics of hybrid and electric car buyers through 2013. 

About 54.6 percent of hybrid owners were under 56 years old, compared to 73.6 percent of electric owners. Some 20.7 percent of electric vehicle owners had an average household income of $175,000 or more, where only 12.4 percent of hybrid owners could claim the same. In a sign of electric car pricing coming down to earth, the average new electric vehicle loan was only $2,000 more than the average hybrid loan ($28,835 to $26,835), and average loan payments for electrics were $82 higher than those of hybrids ($549 to $467).

Average interest rates and length of loan terms for electrics (2.67 percent and 58 months) were lower than those of hybrids (2.77 percent and 62 months). What is interesting is that while 98 percent of alternative-powered vehicles on the road are hybrids, according to Experian, the average credit score of hybrid buyers is very close to that of the smaller, more affluent subsegment of electric buyers (741 for hybrid buyers versus 749 for electric).

The markets for electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming more competitive every year. In fact, the study showed that the number of electric vehicles in operation in 2013 increased by 245 percent. Not only do consumers have a greater number of options today than ever, but the increased interest in hybrids and electrics means manufacturers are dropping prices and offering more incentives to drivers than before.

The Experian Automotive study also looked at the most popular hybrid and electric vehicles on the road as of the end of 2013. Toyota dominates the hybrid list with the Prius, Camry and Highlander hybrids coming in first, second, and fourth respectively. The Honda Civic Hybrid places third on the list, with the Ford Fusion Hybrid rounding out the top five. On the electric side, the Nissan LEAF leads the way. Tesla’s Model S shows up in second place, likely throwing the curve on the electric buyer’s affluence numbers with its typical $100,000-plus price tag. The rest of the top five electric models include, in order, the Ford Focus Electric, Fiat 500e and Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

[Source: Experian; photo via MSN Autos

Apr 24, 2014 11:24AM
Apr 24, 2014 11:32AM
You have to wonder why electric cars get so much press since of the 15,600,000 vehicles sold in the USA last year 46,148 of them were electric. This represents about .3% of sales. It seems clear most people are voting with their dollars to not buy electric vehicles. Unless there is some major change in battery technology I don't view that changing anytime soon.
Apr 24, 2014 12:30PM

The batteries for those electric cars when no longer viable.......are horrible for the environment.  Where is the coverage about this?

Apr 24, 2014 12:07PM

Sad that these people:

1. Will never experience the sound of a muscle car

2. Are to stupid to realize that the electricity comes from burning fossil fuels

Apr 24, 2014 12:26PM
I always laugh when some rich celebrity who could care less what anything costs, buys one of these to save the world and then tells the rest of us that we should get one too. Until the cost comes down where you can justify the expense over time and the infrastructure is in place, this is just a dream of the idealogs.
I want a Electric LS6 Chevelle SS :)
Apr 24, 2014 11:35AM
Why should I give a hoot what these creeps buy are not buy, who cares
Apr 24, 2014 12:19PM
And snootier, more arrogant, and more hypocritical.
Apr 24, 2014 11:32AM
Not a hard survey to do with only 15 people owning these expensive jokes !!
Apr 24, 2014 12:05PM

And also more annoying on the road. 

Every time I see one of these cars, it is in the left hand lane, blocking the flow of traffic driving 10 mph under the speed limit.  Those are the times I wish I was driving a F350 with a steel cage on the front.  lol

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