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Is Cheap Gas Pulling the Plug on Electric Cars?

Angie Vorhies leaves her Nissan Leaf electric vehicle charging station as she heads for shopping at a mall Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
Angie Vorhies leaves her Nissan Leaf electric vehicle charging station as she heads for shopping at a mall Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

 

(Fortune) – How does the price of gas correlate to electric car sales? One might reasonably assume that the higher gas prices go, the more likely battery-powered vehicles are to appeal to the masses. When gas prices are cheap, on the other hand, interest in electric cars would tend to fade, as the difference in the cost of charging versus fueling up shrinks.

Edmunds is hardly the only auto industry observer to take note of how low gas prices affect car purchases. John Krafcik, the former CEO of Hyundai Motor America and current president of the car-buying website TrueCar.com, explained to NPR, “During months when gas prices are low, less fuel-efficient cars tend to take a greater share of the market and vice versa. It’s a fairly one-to-one relationship.”

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