The Correlation Between Hybrid Cars and Gas Prices ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: The Correlation Between Hybrid Cars and Gas Prices

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Correlation Between Hybrid Cars and Gas Prices

Making the point that hybrid car sales are very dependent on gas prices might be like saying fish can't breathe well out of water, but I wanted to see how strong the relationship is. So, I went to the Energy Information Administration website for a month by month chart on the price of gas. Then I took the hybrid car sales I've been tracking for the past three years and plotted them together.
gas prices vs hybrid car sales
If anything, I'd say the relationship was extremely strong and very obvious. The correlation coefficient was very high at 0.855, in case you were wondering.

Since the number of hybrids sold tends to jump whenever a new model is introduced, I show when each model (full hybrids only) I am tracking was introduced. The Insight was a low production hybrid, so not the number of hybrids sold that month was not really affected, even thought the number of models goes down from 9 to 8.

I was also drawn to the big jump made in hybrid car sales a couple of months ago. Toyota had started to aggressively sell the Prius and it showed when the Prius had its best sales month up to that point.

There are some other factors that affect hybrid car sales such as production capacity (limited the Prius for several months) that cause the relationship to be less than 1-to-1, but it's fairly obvious how strong related the two are.

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7 comments:

The Good Car Guy said...

You've got some deep research going on here. Automotive.com and gasbuddy.com both have real-time gas prices, with which to compare hybrid advantages and disadvantages in different cities. At least as hybrids relate to $ savings. Check out http://www.goodcarbadcar.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

where did u get your data from?

Mike said...

I keep track of hybrid car sales every month, while the gas prices came from the EIA.

Anonymous said...

im doing my grade 12 data management summative on this topic, and the correlation coefficient between the two... it would be great if you could send me your data you found :) what do you think?

Mike said...

Just contact me and I can send you the data I had to create the chart you see above. Look for the 'about me' on the right and you can see how to contact me.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. Do you have the hybrid cars sales/gas price correlation chart updated through April 2009? Or does anyone know where to find this?

Mike said...

No, but it would be easy enough to find that information. If you're willing to use the sales data I provide every month (use the hybrid car sales category to find it), then go to the EIA website I linked to above to get the gas prices.

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