Was Obama correct about hybrid car drivers?

Prius
In an attempt to pass his economic stimulus package President Obama was recently quoted as saying, "I don’t care if you are driving in a hybrid or an SUV, if you are driving toward a cliff you’ve got to change directions."

It could be construed that his statement was meant to suggest that hybrid owners are Democrats while SUV owners are Republicans.

But do the facts and more importantly demographics bear out this suggestion?

According to Hybridcars.com the typical Prius driver is not your Hollywood hipster 20-something-year-old but instead older than the average car buyer—closer to 50 rather than the average age of 40.

The site also goes on to report that:

  • hybrid drivers have higher levels of education
  • Twice as likely to claim to go skiing, hiking, or practice yoga than non-hybrid owners.
  • They consume more organic food, yogurt, and decaffeinated coffee than the general population.
  • The
    group also indicated above-average tech savvy skills. Within the last
    month, 78 percent used e-mail. Nearly a third either used their mobile
    phone for text messaging or taking photographs, while more than a third
    used a digital-video recorder, satellite TV, or a video game system.
  • Politically, 14 percent called themselves Republican, 38 percent Democrat, and 34 percent identify

So perhaps Obama was correct about the political demographics of hybrid drivers.

Hybrid car sales have certainly fallen of a cliff.

According to the most recent report in USA Today:

"Sales of the leading hybrid, Toyota's Prius,
which has no gasoline equivalent, fell 28.6% last month vs. January
last year, Autodata says. That was less than Toyota's 31.7% overall
drop but a far cry from last summer when dealers had waiting lists for
Prius.

It's a "very bad car market, but Prius is not
immune," says Toyota spokesman Mike Michels. "Gas prices have abated to
a point that people have a fairly short memory." Regular gas averaged
$1.91 a gallon nationwide Thursday vs. $2.98 a year ago, AAA says."

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Roman Mica is a publisher, columnist, journalist, and author, who spent his early years driving fast on the German autobahn. When he’s not reviewing cars or producing videos, you can find him training for triathlons and writing about endurance sports for EverymanTri.com as our sister blog’s publisher. Mica is a former broadcast reporter with his Master’s Degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He is also a presenter for TFLcar’s very popular video review channels on YouTube.