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Electric and Hybrid Vehicles
J.D. Power and Associates reports 30 percent of new-vehicle buyers would definitely consider buying a hybrid electric vehicle. Another 30 percent indicated a strong consideration to make the purchase. The Hybrid Vehicle Acceptance Study is based on responses from more than 5,200 recent new-vehicle buyers. Key questions in the survey (and their answers) were:
1. In which vehicle segments do consumers want hybrids offered? Respondents overwhelmingly indicate that they want a hybrid powertrain option in the same segment as their current vehicle. For example, a hybrid SUV is the most popular first choice vehicle segment for a hybrid option among current SUV owners.
2. What will cause them to purchase? The number one reason to purchase a hybrid is concern over high fuel prices. Also listed as primary motivators are the high level of U.S. dependency on foreign fuel suppliers, a federal tax incentive and concern for the environment.
3. How much are they willing to pay? Consumers expect to pay more for a hybrid than they would for a traditional gasoline-engine vehicle. Of those who would consider a hybrid electric vehicle, nearly one-third indicate they would still buy one even if the savings from reduced fuel costs during their ownership period would be less than the extra cost of purchasing the hybrid option. However, consumers see a federal tax credit as important to their decision to purchase a hybrid, and they expect the credit to be nearly equal to the additional cost for the hybrid option.
The results of this consumer-based study support the sales outlook outlined in a separate J.D. Power and Associates hybrid vehicle forecast, in which hybrid sales are expected to increase dramatically in the next few years and approach 500,000 vehicles per year shortly after mid-decade.
Fuel Cells/EVAA Conference(02-02 BD71-9)
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