Interest in hybrids on rise


When it comes to selecting a new automobile, car owners are showing an interest in purchasing a hybrid vehicle over traditional combustion engine vehicles.  

One-third of car owners (32 per cent) report they have an interest in purchasing a hybrid vehicle and 23 per cent say that their interest in hybrids has increased from a year ago.

Yet, even as new car buyers look more deeply into alternative fuel options, traditional combustion engine vehicles still get the nod by more than half (59 per cent) of consumers as a vehicle choice they will consider for their next purchase.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,634 U.S. adults (ages 18 and over) of whom 1,991 own or lease a car, truck, minivan or SUV.

The adoption curve for hybrid vehicles appears to wane with age. While nearly one-third (32 per cent) of those under 35 years of age are more interested in alternative vehicle choices than they were a year ago, the same can be said for only 15 per cent of those over the age of 67. In fact, 11 per cent of those 67 and older report that they are less interested compared to one year ago.

Among the alternative fuel choices for new automobile purchases, hybrid (gas/electric) vehicles win out with more than a quarter (26 per cent) of car owners identifying that they will consider this type of alternative fuel vehicle for their next purchase.

Other alternative fuels are further down the list, as just one in ten say they would consider diesel (11 per cent) or all electric (9 per cent) automobiles for their next purchase.

Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) report that they, in fact, are not likely to consider diesel or all electric options at all for their next car purchase.

Alternative fuel choices are likely to be impacted by perceptions of the time frames needed to offset the premium of purchasing the alternative powertrain option.

Beyond fuel choices, new car selection is also heavily based on opinions about vehicle quality.

When asked about the vehicle quality of American-brand automobiles, more than one-third (35 per cent) of car owners say that they find the vehicle quality of American brands to be lower than imports.

Just under a quarter of car owners (24 per cent) find American-brand vehicle quality to be better than imports, while 42 per cent find them to be the same in quality.