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Dec 13

Hybrid Cars Popular Among Older Demographic

The interest in green vehicles among the younger population is a well-established fact. It’s pretty clear that young drivers like hybrids and electric cars because they help them save a lot of money on gas, and they are much more eco-friendly than gasoline-powered cars. Generation Y is far more environmentally conscious than the Baby Boomer generation, and they are also having trouble finding a steady job that pays well, so they turn to alternative fuel vehicles, so that they don’t have to deal with high gas prices, which causes great financial headaches to everyone who owns a conventional vehicle.

While Generation Y has been definitely more into green cars than previous generations in the past couple of years, a recent study carried out by Baylor University revealed that these types of vehicles have lately become quite popular among older demographics, as well. Older consumers may not have been interested in cars that make them look cool or trendy in the past, but that has started to change, according to this study. Apart from the financial and environmental benefits that owning an alternative fuel vehicle brings, it has also become somewhat of a trend, as it makes you feel proud that you are doing something to contribute to reducing air pollution and preserving the environment.

That’s what encourages more and more older people to buy green vehicles, instead of traditional cars powered by gasoline. Most of them prefer hybrids over all-electric cars, since they are more affordable, but still very environmentally-friendly.

The study included 314 consumers age 60 or older, who own hybrid cars. The key finding was that all of them have chosen to buy a hybrid car mostly because it raised their self esteem, and helped improve their image. They said that pride and prestige were very important to them, and were influenced by these values, in addition to the possibility of saving money on gas and preserving the environment.

Jay Yoo, Ph.D., an assistant professor of family and consumer sciences in Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences, said that the study suggests that older people are ready to pay extra to show that they care about the environment. This is an important notion, considering that hybrids are usually a couple of thousands of dollars more expensive than gasoline-powered cars, and members of the older generation can afford them, unlike Generation Y, for example. Furthermore, Yoo said that these findings can serve as a great marketing tool for car manufacturers, as they can be crucial for creating consumer loyalty. This shows that the auto industry has to start focusing on people in their 50s and 60s, as they are now a great target market for hybrid cars. Hybrid car sales have been growing steadily for several years, and the increased interest in hybrids among older demographic may help boost sales even further, especially if you take into consideration that the number of older people in the United States, and many countries across the globe, is bound to increase significantly in the next couple of decades.

 

Jordan Perch is an automotive fanatic and “green cars” specialist. He is a writer for DMV.com, which is a collaborative community designed to help US drivers.

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