Schaumburg, Ill. - In honor of Earth Day, Experian Automotive released findings from an analysis comparing electric and hybrid vehicles. Findings from the analysis showed that in 2013, more than 45 percent of hybrid car buyers were 56 years old or older, while roughly 26 percent of electric car buyers were of the same age. The greater percentage (55 percent) of electric buyers were between the ages of 36 years old and 55 years old. Additionally, nearly 21 percent of consumers purchasing an electric car had an average household income of $175,000 or more. Conversely, only 12 percent of consumers purchasing a hybrid had an average household income of the same level.

"At first glance, one would imagine that consumers purchasing either a hybrid or electric vehicle would be nearly identical; both are environmentally conscious, are of similar ages and have higher income levels," said Melinda Zabritski, senior director for Experian Automotive. "While for the most part those statements ring true, our research shows that there are slight differences between the two. One possible reason for the disparity could be the growing popularity of the higher-end luxury electric models available."

As part of the analysis, Experian Automotive also looked at the volume of each of these vehicle segments on the road. Findings from the analysis showed that while hybrids made up nearly 98 percent of all alternative-powered vehicles in operation at the end of 2013, electric vehicles grew at a much faster rate, increasing by approximately 245 percent from a year ago. The number of hybrids on the road grew by roughly 19 percent.

Furthermore, the top five hybrid models on the road in 2013 were the Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, Toyota Highlander and Ford Fusion. The top five electric vehicle models on the road were the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, Ford Focus, FIAT 500e and Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

Additionally, Experian Automotive also reviewed some of the financial attributes of hybrid vehicle loans and electric vehicle loans. The analysis found that, overall, consumers purchasing a new electric vehicle had a higher credit score (749) than those purchasing a new hybrid (741). The study also showed that the average monthly payment for a new electric vehicle was $549, which was $82 more than a new hybrid ($467).

Other findings include:

  • In 2013, nearly 44 percent of all consumers purchasing an electric vehicle had the presence of a child in the household; nearly 52 percent of hybrid buyers did not
  • The average credit score to lease an electric vehicle was 747 in 2013
  • The average credit score to lease a hybrid vehicle was 729 in 2013
  • The average length of a lease for an electric vehicle was 29 months, while the average length for a hybrid was 35 months
  • In 2013, the average monthly lease payment for an electric was $263, while the average monthly lease payment for a hybrid was $386