Are low gas prices undermining environmentally friendly cars?

    Cars like the Buick Encore

    Cars like the Buick Encore

    We just learned that 2015 was the hottest year ever recorded on Earth, a fact that has lent renewed urgency to discussions around climate change and potential solutions.

    Many believe we should make efforts to reduce our own individual carbon footprint, perhaps by using public transportation or by driving a fuel efficient car.

    But with the incredibly low prices we’re seeing at the gas pumps, are people becoming less environmentally friendly?

    When it comes to driving behavior, it seems that they are, says Rebecca Lindland, a senior analyst with the automotive research company, Kelley Blue Book.

    “It’s actually making it very challenging for the auto industry to sell the hybrid and electric vehicles that they’ve spent years investing in,” she says.

    Consumers find it hard to make the change to new, unfamiliar technology without a strong financial incentive. The benefit to the environment is not always enough.

    “If it doesn’t affect their wallet,” Lindland says, “They have a hard time relating to it.”

    Hear the whole interview with Rebecca Lindland above.

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