AutoWeek notes that analysts are having a difficult time predicting the growth of the hybrid market.
Estimates of annual U.S. hybrid sales in 2010 run from a conservative 535,000 by J.D. Power and Associates to 3.5 million in a Booz Allen Hamilton forecast.
J.D. Power’s forecast assumes a $4,000 premium for a hybrid vehicle. The Booz Allen Hamilton forecast assumes price parity when hybrids achieve high volumes and economies of scale. [...]
Toyota sees rising demand. Its internal research in late 2004 showed that 50 percent of consumers were familiar with the workings of hybrid vehicles, and 26 percent had intentions to buy a hybrid.
That’s double the figures of 18 months before.
Toyota expects to sell 300,000 hybrids worldwide in 2006, climbing to 2 million annual units worldwide by 2010.