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Interest in hybrids tempered by cost

Experts see signs of solid acceptance and interest in hybrid vehicles, however high costs will hamper acceptance in...


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March 21, 2004 by Canadian Plastics

Experts see signs of solid acceptance and interest in hybrid vehicles, however high costs will hamper acceptance in the market. This was the general consensus of a panel convened at the recent SAE show to discuss the future of hybrids, vehicles powered by a combination of electric and gasoline systems.
Walter McManus, executive director at J.D. Power Associates, discussed a forthcoming study showing that 43% of car buyers would consider buying a hybrid if the price difference is $1500. However the figure falls to 20% with a price differential of $4000.
Panel members concurred that there are still significant engineering challenges in designing hybrid systems to meet modern buyer expectations under all types of road and driving conditions. There was a consensus, however, that hybrids offer tremendous opportunities to reduce gas consumption and emissions in North America