HEVs and BEVs might not see dramatic increase in demand: JD Power

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A new report by J.D. Power and Associates claims it will take three “consumer-driven” situations to force significant sales numbers for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Detailed in the recently released Drive Green 2020: More Hope than Reality, the firm estimates that combined global sales of vehicles with this new technology will total just 5.2 million units by 2020. That would be a mere 7.3 per cent of the roughly 70 million passenger vehicles forecasted to be sold globally in ten years.

Analysts say the driving forces behind the popularity of green vehicles includes market trends, regulatory environment, consumer sentiment and technology development.

For a large number of buyers to migrate to hybrid or EV technology, the report estimates it will require a series of the following predictions to ring true:

  • A significant increase in the global price of petroleum-based fuels by 2020.
  • A substantial breakthrough in green technologies that would reduce costs and improved consumer confidence.
  • A coordinated government policy to encourage consumers to purchase these vehicles.

Based on currently data, J.D. Power said none of these scenarios are believed to be plausible throughout the next decade.

“While considerable interest exists among governments, media and environmentalists in promoting HEVs and BEVs, consumers will ultimately decide whether these vehicles are commercially successful or not,” explained John Humphrey, senior vice president of automotive operations at J.D. Power.

“Based on our research of consumer attitudes toward these technologies — and barring significant changes to public policy, including tax incentives and higher fuel economy standards — we don’t anticipate a mass migration to green vehicles in the coming decade,” Humphrey continued.

Some consumer concerns about HEVs and BEVs the report lists includes:

  • Worries about the reliability of new technologies.
  • Dislike of their look/design.
  • Dissatisfaction with overall power and performance.
  • Anxiety about driving range.