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Sliding gas prices may zap electric, hybrid sales: BMW

BMW is sounding a warning about sliding gas prices.

The luxury carmaker says cheaper gas prices will pinch sales of electric and hybrid cars. That’s bad news for BMW, Tesla and Chevrolet, which are working to bring new, longer-range electrics to market.

At the same time, cheaper gas might rekindle drivers’ love affair with bigger sport utility vehicles and trucks. Filling the tank can cost $30 or $40 less than it did a year ago.

Car-buying site TrueCar.com says SUV sales rise when gas costs $3 or less per gallon, and hybrid sales slip when the pump price hits $2.77 or less.

CNN Money

Pump prices in the Chicago area averaged $2.16 a gallon Monday, down from $3.52 a year ago, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

Sales of electric and hybrid cars fell 3.8 percent to 570,475 in 2014 compared with 590,232 in 2013, the Electric Drive Transportation Association reports.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV electric concept vehicle. | AP Photo
The Chevrolet Bolt EV electric concept vehicle. | AP Photo