With average nationwide gasoline prices now hovering below the $3 a gallon mark for the first time in years, US buyers are reverting to their old habit of shopping pickup trucks, crossovers and SUVs.
Naturally, as some segments are on the rise, others can be on the loosing side, even if overall sales are positive. After all, learning from “Economics for dummies,” prices are the biggest motivator for people – and that applies to vehicles as well. If they simply think about the low to mid-term scenario, when gas prices rise it’s time to buy fuel-efficient cars, when they drop they can buy that massive ride they always dreamed about.
For now – even as regulators push better fuel economy standards that would see new cars being twice as efficient as today – the two sub-categories that could be threatened are the compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and electric autos. The first category is very efficient when CNG is much cheaper than gasoline – the US was an example before the prices dropped below $3 a gallon. And when it comes to electrics their situation is even more dire – they were far from being competitive with gasoline cars from the start, so they might continue their ongoing relegation to niche status.