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Study Shows Strong Consumer Interest in Plug-in Hybrids

A new study by global market research company Synovate shows that 49% of consumers—once the concept of a plug-in hybrid was explained to them—said they would consider purchasing one, roughly the same level of consideration as standard hybrid technology.

The study, conducted among 1,240 buyers and those intending to buy new light duty cars and trucks, found that while awareness of hybrids is now very high among US consumers, consideration of a conventional hybrid vehicle has flattened at just under 50%.

Plugging the vehicle in at home means fewer trips to the gas station and lower operating costs. The unknown with this technology is the additional purchase cost. However, there is a considerable group of consumers who are willing to pay to get these unique benefits. It would also be an excellent way to transfer some of the country’s dependence on oil to the national resources we use to power the electric power grid. We believe it’s something to watch.

—Tim Englehart, Manager of Alternative Fuels Studies at Synovate Motoresearch

The study also found that while 37% of US consumers would consider purchasing a Flex Fuel vehicle that runs on E85, more than one-third of those same consumers lose interest when they learn that there is a reduction in fuel economy.

Consideration for diesels ran at roughly half the consideration of hybrids.

Our data give us strong reason to believe that if manufacturers can meet the emissions requirements of the new diesel legislation, some are going to surprise the market with the products they introduce and the buyers to whom those vehicles appeal.

—Scott Miller, CEO of Synovate Motoresearch

The information came from Synovate’s latest semi-annual survey of consumer attitudes toward advanced propulsion and alternative fuel vehicles.


Max Reid


Here in US, lot of jobs are dependent on auto manufacturing, marketing and servicing, so people cannot give up their autos.

However people can buy smaller vehicles which will still offer the jobs and also reduce the oil consumption.

Thats what is happening with SUV sales crashing and smaller vehicles gaining slowly.


Plug in hybrids may become more popular as battery technology improves to the point where they can offer more capacity for less dollars. An "interest" in a product survey does not always mean that the buying public will put down their hard earned after tax dollars in great numbers.

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