More people in region considering hybrid, electric vehicles as gas prices surge

WEST CHESTER — The popularity of electric and hybrid cars is rising.

The latest report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows that by 2040, 58 percent of global passenger vehicle sales will come from electric vehicles. Sales of battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles currently make up 4.2 percent of the global car market.

In the past month, gasoline prices increased by more than 30 percent in the Greater Philadelphia Region, leading some people to consider an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid.

Jeff D’Ambrosio, who owns eight dealerships in Chester County, said the popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles is increasing.

Jeff D’Ambrosio Auto Group has more than 1,000 vehicles for sale right now in Chester County from Volkswagen to Jeep to Mitsubishi and Tesla.

“We’re one of the few dealerships that have 1,000 cars in stock,” D’Ambrosio said.

“The Wrangler hybrid is very popular right now,” D’Ambrosio said on Monday.

He said the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is also very popular. D’Ambrosio said Mitsubishi’s hybrid models are popular as well. Another popular car being ordered today is the all-electric Volkswagen ID.4 SUV, he added.

Of hybrid cars, D’Ambrosio noted, “The popularity is catching on.”

Infrastructure to build more charging stations is key for the future growth of electric cars, too, D’Ambrosio said.

A hybrid model allows a vehicle to charge for energy electrically while still giving the driver the option to use gasoline while traveling as needed.

This year, Subaru of America is releasing its first all-electric vehicle to North America – the Solterra.

“We do see people trading in ‘gas guzzlers’ in favor of more economical cars whether it be going from an 8-cylinder to a 4-cylinder or big SUVs to smaller more economical SUVs that have comparable seating capacity,” said Brett Sholder, of Sky Motor Cars, 969 S. Matlack St. in West Chester.

Presently there is an ongoing shortage of new vehicles being sold in America following pandemic shutdowns that started in March 2020 and an ongoing 24-month global supply chain crisis as the world marketplace experiences shortages, suspensions and backlogged orders – including digital chips for newly manufactured vehicles.

More electronic charging stations are being installed in the region. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

And due to the chip shortage, which sparked an overall shortage of new cars released to the automotive marketplace in 2022 compared to 2019, the industry has witnessed a huge spike in prices for pre-owned vehicles due to demand.

In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index for pre-owned vehicles increased by 40.5 percent between January 2021 and January 2022.

According to Trading Economics, annual inflation rate in America accelerated to 7.9 percent in February, the highest since January of 1982, with gasoline prices surging.

“Still, the biggest effects of the war in Ukraine and the consequent surge in energy costs are still to come and will worsen with the U.S. ban on oil imports from Russia,” the report by Trading Economics said. “The inflation was seen peaking in March but the recent developments in Europe coupled with the ongoing supply constraints, strong demand and labor shortages will likely maintain inflation elevated for longer.”

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