Over at National Review Online's Planet Gore, Henry Payne has an intriguing little post pointing out that Obama's forced marriage between car consumers and hybrids won't work. That's because even the most committed greens end up divorcing their hybrids and buying a non-hybrid the second time around – despite the hefty upfront dowry they have gotten from Uncle Sam for their first marriage.
A study by a Michigan-based research firm Polk found that only 35 percent of hybrid-owners choose to purchase another hybrid. Even worse, if you remove the Toyota Prius, the most popular hybrid from the mix, commitment to hybrids drops to 25 percent. This means that a whopping 75 percent of non-Prius hybrid customers chose to ditch the hybrid – and this is for the greenest of green consumers, mind you. Payne notes:
That helps explain why hybrid sales have flat-lined at just 2 to 3 percent of vehicle sales after over a decade on the market — and despite huge buyer tax incentives and a doubling of hybrid model offerings since 2007…
No doubt because they can't justify their $5,000-plus markup over a standard gas model, a markup they don't get back in gas savings.
But that of course hasn't stopped President Obama from effectively mandating that all new vehicles in U.S. sold by 2025 be hybrid-electric or electric. That's because only one vehicle, Nissan Leaf, currently meets Obama's 56 mpg fuel-economy mandate, Payne points out. Even the vaunted 2012 Prius, at 50 mpg, falls short. There is no technology currently available or on the horizon that will allow standard gas cars to meet that standard—although one can't rule out divine intervention.
But don't worry if that doesn't come: When the car companies start heading toward bankruptcy once again because there is a mismatch between what consumers want and what their government wants them to produce, Uncle Sam will come to the rescue with electric-car-loads of taxpayer dollars.