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Poll Finds More than 1/4 of US Vehicle Owners Likely to Include Plug-In Technology in Next Vehicle

A recent Harris Interactive AutoTECHCAST study found that more than one-quarter (27%) of US vehicle owners say they are likely (13%), very likely (8%) or extremely likely (6%) to include plug-in hybrid engine technology in their next vehicle.

When presented with a suggested market price of $3,200, consideration for the technology drops to a net 16%. Males (27%) and females (27%) are equally likely to include the technology in their next vehicle, while entry SUV owners (45%) show the highest levels of interest in plug-in hybrid technology compared to other vehicle segment owners.

Among vehicle owners who say they are at least likely to include plug-in hybrid technology in their next vehicle, 84% say they would prefer plugging in versus filling up at the gas station each week. Less than half (45%) say they expect to have to charge the vehicle once a day. Three in 10 (29%) expect to charge the vehicle two to three times per week, and another 15% expect a weekly charge.

In terms of charging time, there are varying expectations. Three in 10 (30%) of those considering plug-in technology in their next vehicle expect a two- to four-hour charge, another 30% expect a five- to seven-hour charge, and 20% expect an eight- to 10-hour charge. Those considering plug-in hybrid technology, on average, expect to get adequate mileage out of one charge.

The challenge for plug-in hybrid vehicle owners might be in the places they choose to park. Forty-six percent of those who will consider plug-in hybrid technology say they park in a private garage that is either connected or separated from the home, and more than one-third (37%) say they currently park in a private driveway when they are home. Six percent say they currently park their vehicle on the street.


Lou Grinzo

Huh? 84% of those least likely to buy a plug-in would prefer plugging in vs. filling up at a gas station?

Is this a comment on what they think will be available when they make their next purchase, i.e. they would prefer a PHEV but they think one that meets their needs won't be on the market?

Lou Grinzo

Oops--I just realized I misread the sentence in question.

Sorry for the error, everyone.


A survey like this is likely to make an auto manufacturer cast doubt on the possibility for success of a PHEV.

People expect to be given too much and want to pay very little for it. 9% drop out just because they might have to actually pay additional for the added technology (even though the cost increase is barely what you expect out of a standard HEV versus ICE-only vehicle).

The people surveyed probably also think if they eat "light" food like cotton candy they will lose more weight versus something heavy like a bowl of brussel sprouts.


A 1/4 of the population after something that isn't even available from an OEM yet is not bad. Once these are out on the roads, if they work as they should, demand will grow.

Yeah, some people are dumb, but just because they're dumb doesn't mean they love ICE engines, it means they need marketing. Out of the 75% not interested, how many of them even know what makes a car run? How many are just scared of new technology? How many just don't like the Prius? Make some decent looking, decent size PHEVs for the most likely to plug-in segments, market it as fun to drive with pretty people near it, and it'll sell.

Put on some cool taillights and chrome rims for the track suit set and they'll line up.


Why not introducing a federal tax credit on PHEV, similar to the one that is ongoing now for the Hybrids? That would at least spur some action from certain manufacturers that now are seeing credits for their vehicles reducec or disappear altogether.

Kit P

nteresting poll!! How would the same people respond to my questions?

1.Which do you hate more, big oil or your benevolent electric utility?
2.Would you pay $10,000 more for a less reliable car because the CEO of your electric utility deserves that bonus for thinking up 'green marketing' as a solution for rolling black outs?
3.How many days a week do you leave your car running while stopping at the big oil convenience store for coffee?
4.Which would you prefer, saving $0.50/day or having car start remotely so the temperature is just right?

Charles S

Kit P.

I can come up with rebuttals, but I see what you're driving at.

I find bashing plug-ins is a futile exercise. The niche that reads this blog supports plug-ins because we are looking for alternatives. However, mainstream crowd looks toward plug-ins because conservation and sensible cars are too much of a sacrifice. I do not know what anti-PHEVs are trying to accomplish here... turning off the crowd will only means that they will latch onto other not-so-great ideas like hydrogen or bio-fuels.

I don't see how we can continue this bigger, faster, more-gas-guzzling culture of automobiles. People either have to drive more efficiently, drive less, or start that not-so-smooth transition toward different sources of energy.

Kit P

Charles S, I am very pro PHEV and would consider buying one. I have also considered converting an old Honda to a BEV however you can buy a nice sail boat for the price of batteries. I an also pro-biofuels, coal to liquids, and nuclear generated hydrogen to replace natural gas used to make hydrogen for refineries.

I do not like silly polls that ask people what version version of pixie dust they like best. Let be real Charles, the energy for PHEV will come coal and natural gas. Clearly not a different source of energy.


I do not like silly polls that ask people what version version of pixie dust they like best. Let be real Charles, the energy for PHEV will come coal and natural gas. Clearly not a different source of energy.

Kit, I don't think the poll was misleading; it was just trying to gauge people's expectations. And people's expectations were not that crazy.

Even if the energy for a PHEV comes from coal, the efficiency gain over a conventional ICE means there will be less carbon in the air. Natural gas would be less still, and other sources of electricity (come on, you can think of a few...) would be essentially zero carbon. In my book, that is clearly a different source of energy than imported petroleum.

Kit P

George, I did not say the poll was misleading. Silly.

Granted PHEV could be more fuel efficient if driven correctly. Of courses what are the odds of a significant portion of the American adopting driving practices to reduce fuel consumption? The list of those practices have been around since Hector was a pup.

As for the electric grid, reducing the carbon produced making electricity has nothing to do with PHEV until renewable energy and nukes produce enough excess capacity that LNG and petroleum are not used to make electricity. I do not think this will happen because of supply and demand. When the price of natural gas drops, then existing CCGTs will be able to make electricity cheaper than new nukes. The US will have to adopt a national policy similar France where nukes are used to load follow and increased off peak demand could be met if PHEV are charged with smart grid controls.

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