Another factor to consider in this market is the high competition in the segment. The Spark EV will have to compete against the Ford Focus Electric, and the Nissan Leaf. High competition in the segment has caused automakers to cut prices recently. The Focus Electric was cut by $4,000, the Leaf was cut by $6,400, and GM offered a $4,000 cash rebate on the 2013 Volt. As the market grows, it will be interesting to see how profitable EVs will be for car companies.
Hybrid vehicles helped to cut the development costs for pure EV vehicles, not to mention there are EVS available for under $30,000.
When Hybrids first came out they were foreign to the entire industry and they needed to change perception before mainstream uptake, plus gas hadn't settled in over $3/gallon. the ELR is breaking in at a time when hybrid vehicles have been around for almost a decade and consumers are used to the squeeze of $3-$4/gallon instead of viewing it as a temporary price even 2 years ago.
Lastly when hybrids first came out there were two options, the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius. Now Ford has EV's, Chevy has EV's (two of them), Fiat, Mitsubishi, Nissan and of course Tesla are all players in this market segment. EVs offered arent these far out ugly looking hybrid ducklings of a decade ago, they're stylish (somewhat) and engaging to drive.
Its a cool comparison to look at EV's vs Hybrids but in all fairness EV's are more a continuation of Hybrids than a straight up competitor to them.