The Demand For Hybrid, Electric, and Fuel-Efficient Cars Increases Amid Price Hikes

The used car market has skyrocketed in the past year and it doesn’t look like it’s coming down anytime soon. A recent study from iSeeCars shows that used car prices are up 35% over last year as the microchip shortage continues to impact the car industry. However, despite the crazy price hikes in the recent market, the demand for hybrid, electric, and fuel-efficient cars has also increased.

Hybrid and fuel-efficient cars have undergone the greatest price increases

2022 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid in red
2022 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid | Hyundai

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The folks over at iSeeCars analyzed 1.8 million cars sales and came up with a list of the top 10 used cars with the greatest prices increases. Not too surprisingly, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid tops the list with a 61.2% price increase year over year in the month of February. While it’s not a hybrid car, the Chevrolet Spark follows the Sonata with a 54.5% increase year over year and the Nissan Leaf follows that car with a 54.3% increase.

The only other electric car on the list is a Tesla Model S, which has seen a 47.4% increase in the past year. According to Karl Brauer, executive analyst for ISeeCars, “Hybrid cars are in demand right now due to soaring gas prices, with the hybrid category as a whole increasing by 47 percent.”

Otherwise, the list is very Kia heavy with the inclusion of the Forte, Rio, and Soul, which all saw around a 50% price increase year over year. Arguably, the most surprising car on the list, however, is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, which saw a 52.1% increase due to an increase in demand over the past year.

“The wait for a new version of the Mercedes G-Class is over a year, so buyers who want this opulent off-roader are turning to the used car marketplace,” Brauer said.

There is a surge in demand for hybrid and electric cars due to gas prices

A gas pump fueling a car
Gas pump | Getty images

It’s no secret that the main culprit for the increase in hybrid and electric cars is mainly due to soaring gas prices. The current national average price for a gallon of gas is $4.24, but you can expect to pay closer to $6 for a gallon in some states like California. As such, it’s no surprise that the data put forth by iSeeCars also shows a marked increase in hybrid and electric car pricing on the used market.

“The increase in gas prices has led to a surge in demand for hybrid and electric vehicles,” noted Brauer. According to the data, prices for hybrid vehicles are up by 47% while the cost of electric cars has risen by 43% in the past year. By comparison, the average price for a non-hybrid or electric vehicle has gone up by 34%.

Is it a good time to buy a hybrid or electric car?

EV charging; electric vehicle charging
Nissan Leaf EV charging at a charging station. | Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Technically speaking, no. Considering the prices for used cars, in general, are on a steady incline, it’s better to hold off on buying a used hybrid or electric car right now. However, the cost of fuel is on the rise as well, so many Americans may be looking to ditch their gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks for their fuel-sipping counterparts. In that case, buy a hybrid or electric car if it suits your needs better, but be sure to do all your pricing research before doing so.

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