An increasing number of Americans are trading in their hybrid or electric cars for purely gas-powered vehicles, including SUVs.
According to Edmunds.com, new hybrid sales are down from last year and a minority, 45 percent of hybrid owners, are trading in for another hybrid, many opting instead for gasoline-powered cars.
Why?Well, carmakers have improved the gas mileage of their vehicles and gas-powered cars generally cost less than hybrids.
Probably the biggest reason, though, gas prices.
AAA says the national average for a gallon is 2.47.
A year ago, it was 3.66.
So people are less worried about the cost of filling up.
The biggest influence on gas prices is the cost of crude oil and OPEC historically has been a major factor in determining that.
What the Heck is OPEC?
Whenever you hear about oil, the word OPEC isn't far behind.
OPEC stands for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
It's a group of 12 nations that have a lot of clout in the energy market because they produce about one third of the world's total oil and export it around the globe.
That's about 30 million barrels of oil every single day.
It was formed in 1960.
The goal-to coordinate oil production to ensure that members are pumping enough supply to meet demand.
If all 12 countries play by the rules, it can help to regulate and stabilize global oil prices.
But there are also plenty of major oil producing nations that are not part of the OPEC club, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Russia.
And they don't attend OPEC meetings and as such, they're not bound by the cartel's decisions.
And as these nations have increased their production over the past two years, OPEC's influence in the market has plunged.
There's now an excess of oil supply, which has pushed down prices significantly.
The price drop has caused political problems in some OPEC countries that rely on oil sales heavily to fund their governments.