According to a new study by J. D. Power and Associates, 30% of consumers in the market to buy a new vehicle indicate that they would definitely consider purchasing hybrid electric vehicle, with another 30% indicating a strong consideration. The study surveyed 5,200 people, the firm noted.
J. D. Power's Hybrid Vehicle Consumer Acceptance Study found the number one reason consumers said they would consider buying a hybrid vehicle is concern over high fuel prices. Other concerns include fuel prices, the high level of U.S. dependency on foreign fuel supplies, a federal tax incentive and concern for the environment.
Though price and costs play a critical role in the acceptance of hybrid vehicle technology, the study shows there is a greater willingness to pay for hybrid vehicles than previously believed. Consumers also expect to pay more for a hybrid than they would for a traditional gasoline-engine vehicle, J. D. Power said.
Consumers also indicate that their appetite for hybrids would increase if the federal government helped offset some of the additional costs. Consumers not only see a federal tax credit as important to their decision to purchase a hybrid, they also expect the credit to be nearly equal to the additional cost for the hybrid option over that of the gasoline-engine version, the study said.
Based on its own forecasts and market data, Agoura Hills, CA-based J.D. Power expects the hybrid market to reach 500,000 vehicles per year shortly 2005.