NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 17, 2005

With the increasing price of gas, hybrid cars may become popular sooner rather than later, says Investor's Business Daily. In fact, concerns over gas prices trump concerns over the environment when it comes to how Americans view hybrids.

Recently, J.D. Power estimated that hybrids would account for only 4 percent of total vehicle sales by the end of the decade. But according to the polling firm TechnoMetrica:

  • Some 55 percent of Americans are considering the purchase of a hybrid for their next vehicle; the most likely buyers are those with incomes above $75,000 (68 percent).
  • Over half of Americans think that dependence on foreign oil is the number one threat to the economy.
  • Some 57 percent of respondents are attracted to hybrids for their fuel efficiency, compared to only 23 percent for their environmental friendliness.
  • Respondents favor government incentives to sweeten the deal in purchasing hybrids; tax rebates were favored by 72 percent while 71 percent favored energy credits.

Indeed, sales for the Toyota Prius hybrid grew 90 percent in September. However, not everybody believes that all automakers are as responsive to making hybrids as they are gasoline engines:

  • Toyota (41 percent of respondents) and Honda (40 percent) are viewed most favorable as being committed to making hybrids widely used.
  • Ford (14 percent), General Motors (13 percent) and Chrysler (8 percent) are viewed least favorably by Americans as promoting hybrids.

Source: IBD Staff, "More Take Hybrid Cars for a Spin; Pocketbook Trumps Environment," Investor's Business Daily, October 5, 2005.


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