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Continental Study: German Motorists’ Interest in Hybrids Jumps

In a recent survey commissioned by international automotive supplier Continental, 30.7% of the German motorists polled said that their next car would “certainly” or “most likely” be a hybrid vehicle.

In an earlier survey in the fall of 2006, that figure was 24.7%. While six months ago a key motivational factor was clearly economic in nature, environmental aspects are now equally as important, according to Continental.

Tax incentives would continue to greatly simplify the purchase decision.

The study shows a clear trend that confirms what we thought: The market is there, and we as Continental can offer our customers in the automotive industry the right products at the right point in time.

In Germany last year, private car buyers bought some 1.7 million of the 3.47 million cars purchased in total. If a good 30% would indeed buy a hybrid, that would represent a market of 510,000 vehicles, which is of course not very realistic. But just the 4.1% of motorists who would definitely buy a hybrid vehicle according to the survey would mean 70,000 vehicles a year, which is a good start. This does not, however, include any of the 1.7 million new fleet vehicles in the leasing business each year, for instance.

—Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, chairman of the management board of Continental's Automotive Systems division and member of the Executive Board of Continental AG

Opinion research institute TNS/Infratest, at Continental AG’s request, surveyed 1,000 German motorists on the topic of hybrid drive technology for the first time last fall. The second survey followed about four months later, after the first two parts of the United Nation’s IPCC climate report was released this spring.

According to the findings of the two surveys, more than three-fourths of those interviewed had already heard about hybrid technology, although only a third was capable of coming anywhere near describing it. Everyone agreed that a governmental incentive would have a significant impact: Two thirds of otherwise hesitant motorists would buy a hybrid vehicle if they were granted tax breaks. Under these conditions, a total of nearly 70% of motorists would be interested in buying a hybrid car.

In 2005, Continental and ZF formed a consortium to develop and market hybrid vehicle technology for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. (Earlier post.)



"more than three-fourths of those interviewed had already heard about hybrid technology, although only a third was capable of coming anywhere near describing it."

This seems about right. You do not have to know the theory of automobiles to drive one.

People want to know that the hybrids last, pay themselves back in fuel savings and have some resale value. This is a major capital purchase and most people in most countries would want to know pretty much the same things.


Great , and while their all thinking about it .............

P Schager

This leaves me wondering just how many of those German motorists understand that the hybrid option and the diesel option are mutually antagonistic, and almost mutually exclusive on the market today. In other words, that they have overlapping benefits which diminishes the return when you pay for both; as long as there is a limited availability of hybrid and diesel drivetrains you might as well use them on different vehicles to maximize the total benefit. That not until they become somewhat more mature will the mainstream want a hybrid diesel (even though they should).

The plug-in hybrid changes the equation, but there probably won't be enough of those by the time of your next vehicle.


The Germans are learning!

If they could only displace all the Diesel passanger cars now on the road with cleaner patrol hybrids it would be THE step forward to increase air quality in Europe.
The reduction in ground ozone and particulate concentration and as other harmful fumes would be significant. Cleaner air would bring even people back on bikes.
Instead of supporting Diesel oel production out of crops and the peasants in Europe the EU and national govs should support byers of clean high tech products.

The problem in Diesel hybrids is, there is still a Diesel engine needed. So, you have to add hybrid technology and a expensive exhaust gas aftertreatment.
The fuel saving is only marginal ue to the tech. characteristics of the Diesel engine.

Another possibility could be inroducing a small gasturbine as Volvo did it in a concept car almost 15 years ago. Exhaust gas are a issue here too.


Maybe dual fuel hybrids will be the way. A small turbo engine that can run on gasoline or NG with variable boost and hybrid. The hybrid for the low end torque and the turbo for the high end horsepower. NG has very high octane and the extra boost should work nicely.

Orkabie Investments

Iam a very!!! Interested investor in hybred tech looking forword to info!!(orkabie investments)Thank you-wayne.

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