Gas Prices Drive “Hybrid” Searches
In my last post, I wrote about how high gas prices affected traffic to GasBuddy.com and searches for “Gas Prices.” It turns out that skyrocketing gas prices also have a big impact on the number of searches phrases containing “Hybrid,” such as “Hybrid Cars,” “Hybrid Vehicles” or “Hybrid SUVs.” There were 2.74 million searches including “Hybrid” in May 2008 according to Comscore Marketer, an 80% increase over May 2007.
Rising gas prices may drive interest in fuel efficient cars in the U.S. more than the concern global warming ever has. The correlation between searches for “Hybrid” and average retail gas prices has a coefficient of .93 and is shown graphically in the chart below.
Interestingly, those searching for phrases with “Hybrid cars” and “Hybrid SUVs” or “Hybrid Trucks” show differences in demographics. Those making more than $100k per year were by far the most likely to search for “Hybrid Cars,” while those in the $25-50k income bracket were the most likely to search for “Hybrid Trucks” or “Hybrid SUVs.”