(San Francisco Chronicle) For once, automakers have reason to fear cheap gasoline.
High gas prices during the last decade drove interest in electric cars and fuel-cell vehicles, as did concern about global warming. But now gasoline prices have plunged to their lowest level since the Great Recession, averaging $2.50 nationwide for a gallon of regular. If gas prices stay low — granted, a very big "if" — one of the most powerful arguments for alternative-fuel cars will be wiped out.
"You have an early-adopter group that's much more interested in these vehicles as a way of doing something 'green,' and the cost of fuel is not going to be a big factor for them," said John O'Dell, a senior editor at the Edmunds.com auto information website. "Once you get out of the early-adopter group and into the mainstream, then gasoline prices matter a lot."
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