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We Americans want hybrid leadership. We want to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Trouble is, most of us aren't willing to pay for it. Johnson Controls surveyed 2309 adults on all matters hybrid, and it found that 84% of Americans believe the government should support the advancement of hybrid technology and fully 88% believe hybrid leadership is crucial to America's future. But the devil is in the details, and few things bring out the worst in people more than money.

The survey asked whether car buyers would expect to pay more, less, or about the same amount as a comparable gasoline-powered vehicle. 23% of the adults surveyed said they were willing to pay more for a hybrid, while 35% would only purchase a car with battery assistance if it cost the same as a comparable non-hybrid. 33% actually think they should pay less for a hybrid than a conventional vehicle. And the other 11%? They wouldn't purchase a hybrid at any price. Click through to the jump for more on the study, the official press release, and the chance to participate in our poll.

[Source: Johnson Controls]


Beyond price issues, survey-takers were also concerned with size and performance. 49% are hesitant to purchase a vehicle at the expense of power and functionality. 47% of those surveyed feel that a lack of hybrid understanding prevents additional sales, and 59% don't understand the difference between various kinds of hybrids.

While most Americans appear to have limited hybrid knowledge and even less desire to pay for the technology, we're at least practical. While 90% of survey respondents are open to a hybrid purchase, 80% say that the cost of hybrids prevents them from buying one. At least automakers know that if they could only create a big, cheap hybrid with plenty of power that costs less than a Chevrolet Aveo, they'll have a hit on their hands.

Is it critical for the U.S. to be a leader in hybrid technology development?
Yes, and our government should help fund such efforts 615 (24.9%)
Yes, but our government should not help fund such efforts 359 (14.5%)
It is somewhat important 493 (20.0%)
It is not important 960 (38.9%)
Not sure 42 (1.7%)



PRESS RELEASE:

Nine out of 10 consumers open to purchasing hybrid as next vehicle

MILWAUKEE, May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) survey, conducted by Harris Interactive(R), reveals that more than four in five U.S. adults believe the United States must become a leader in hybrid vehicles (88%), and that the government should support the advancement of battery technology in this country (84%).

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081030/AQTH055ALOGO)

Johnson Controls commissioned the survey, "Powering the United States Hybrid Vehicle Industry," to understand consumer sentiment regarding hybrid vehicles and to gain insight into the challenges and opportunities for broad market acceptance in the United States. The online survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, conducted in March 2009, finds that the biggest reasons why U.S. adults think it is important that America become a leader in hybrid technology are to reduce the nation's reliance on foreign oil (81%), create jobs (67%), and reduce the U.S. impact on the environment (64%).

In fact, 90 percent of U.S. adults are open to choosing a hybrid if they were in the market for a new vehicle. However, they also perceive major obstacles to such a purchase today, most notably cost concerns: Four in five adults (80%) think financial barriers such as purchase price and/or insufficient cost savings prevent people from buying a hybrid car. At the same time, most see incentives and tax credits as an effective way to encourage consumers to purchase hybrid cars (84%). Among adults who do not already own a hybrid, more than one in three (35%) would buy a comparable hybrid vehicle as long as it was priced the same as the gasoline-powered equivalent, and more than one in five (23%) would be willing to pay more. However, one-third would expect to pay less.

"The survey makes one message abundantly clear: despite recognizing the importance of hybrid technology and the role of government support, consumers need costs to come down for the hybrid industry to thrive," said Kim Metcalf-Kupres, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing for Johnson Controls. "The survey also suggests a need for consumer education, because most people admit they don't really grasp how hybrids work or understand the differences between the types of hybrid applications that are available," she added.

In addition to cost barriers, many consumers may also think hybrid vehicle performance should be equivalent or better than that of a comparable gasoline-powered vehicle. When asked what might prevent people from buying a hybrid car, 49 percent of adults cite reluctance to sacrifice features such as size and horsepower, and 42 percent express concerns that hybrids might mean inferior performance, lack of speed, or a poor driving experience. Further, nearly half (47%) believe lack of understanding about hybrids in general prevents people from buying them, and an even greater number (59%) have no idea what the distinctions are between different types of hybrids.

"That U.S. consumers are open to the idea of purchasing a hybrid bodes well for the development of a U.S. hybrid industry," said Alex Molinaroli, President, Power Solutions, for Johnson Controls. "However, it's evident that success in building the industry will depend on making it easier for consumers to buy hybrids. We're doing good things in the United States to stimulate the industry, but in the long run, it will be broad market acceptance and scale that makes it sustainable."

Survey Methodology

The Johnson Controls survey, "Powering the U.S. Hybrid Vehicle Industry," was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive between March 9 and March 11, 2009 among 2,309 adults ages 18 and older, of whom, 35 (2%) already own a hybrid car. Results were weighted as needed to reflect the composition of the U.S. population of adults ages 18+ using targets for region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For further details, please contact Rebecca Fitzgerald, Johnson Controls, at Rebecca.K.Fitzgerald@jci.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 96 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      If every car owner switched to a hybrid, that would save the nation several hundred billion dollars a year, in fact propping up the economy.

      You can get a recent first gen Honda Insight for 10k and get over 50 mpg.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If a hybrid car cut gas consumption in half, which is optimistic, and the entire gas powered vehicle fleet were replaced overnight, it would save in the order of 70 billion gallons per year. Which is about $100 billion annually at today's RBOB rate.

        That's a lot of money, until you consider that amounts to $400 per vehicle. It takes quite a few $400s to pay for a hybrid drivetrain.



      • 6 Years Ago
      This is why I like Honda so much in terms of environmentalism (and hate Toyota so much for the same reason). Honda is actually committed to being green, while Toyota is just committed to making some green. Honda's vehicles are average to above-average in their respective classes, and Honda doesn't make any gas-guzzling traditional SUVs or pickups commercially in the US. Honda also makes hybrids, diesels, hydrogen fuel cells, and compressed natural gas vehicles. Toyota? Just hybrids. Honda doesn't care if it loses money; it is actually desirous of a cleaner, greener auto industry (and it also knows that with further time and development these OTHER green fuels WILL become profitable).
      Hybrid leadership is fine, but we need leadership in all aspects of green car technology.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think there are better ideas than Hybrid. I think we need to start developing more electric only cars and advance that technology. The Volt is a good thing, but that's how hybrids should have been doing it in the first place.
      • 6 Years Ago
      @ nick

      Please spend a couple hours and watch the BBC show, "the great global warming swindle". The "vast majority of scientists" do not support the political movement now known as climate change. (since the earth has stopped warming for the past 10 years)

      Oh, and the republican lawyers I am conspiring with want to know what the "correct" temperature of the earth is supposed to be? Get back to us on that one. We want to get that info to our favorite propaganda network ASAP.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You just can't justify the cost of a hybrid for the increased fuel mileage. Unless you are one of the (thankfully) decreasing numbers of people that actually believe in global warming, sorry, climate change. I'll happily drive my Honda fit and save the 10K. And have more fun doing it.

      If you want to decrease our dependence on foreign oil, (and who doesn't?), drill for our own oil right here in the USA.
        • 6 Years Ago
        amen!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well said Dave!
        • 6 Years Ago
        @chillpepper

        "ou just can't justify the cost of a hybrid for the increased fuel mileage. Unless you are one of the (thankfully) decreasing numbers of people that actually believe in global warming, sorry, climate change."

        1)If you prefer to believe in the cooked-numbers produced by Republican lawyers and piped to their favorite propaganda tv network, rather than the vast majority of the world's scientists, then I assume the regressionist you are believe the earth is flat, smoking is healthy and science is devil? Believe whatever cr*p you hear on tv, we'll stick to hard scientific evidence.

        "If you want to decrease our dependence on foreign oil, (and who doesn't?), drill for our own oil right here in the USA."

        2) Yeah, let's stick to internal combustion engines, that way if we drill in the U.S., what will happen once we run out of oil? We're going to be a nation of technological retards that's going to have to license foreign high-tech and play catch up. Hybrids might not be the ideal solution, but it's a significant step towards EVs, reduce costs and speed up tech development.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Nick

        You seem to be very angry with anyone who dares question what you believe> Im truely starting to think that "climate change" is indeed a new form of religion. Read what you wrote man. If anyone dares to disagree with you and your position, you immedietly slander them with accusations of Republican this and vast right wing conspiracy that. By doing this you only preech to the chior as people dont want to listen a zealot. So lets take a look at your statements.

        1)If you prefer to believe in the cooked-numbers produced by Republican lawyers and piped to their favorite propaganda tv network, rather than the vast majority of the world's scientists, then I assume the regressionist you are believe the earth is flat, smoking is healthy and science is devil? Believe whatever cr*p you hear on tv, we'll stick to hard scientific evidence.

        * I already addressed the point about making this a Democrat/Republican game. No need to make obviously slanderous remarks becuase someone holds a different point of view than you. But this statement about sticking to hard scientific evidence. I can read a book and run a google search. Ive learned that UN only heard from 4 scientists when deciding that there is such a thing as "global warming." Which Ive noticed has been changed to "climate change" because scientists and data are showing that the Earth is in a cooling cycle. I also know that there are at least 22,000 scientists that are looking to present evidence to the UN that says "global warming" is bogus and that climate change is a nature occurance that human beings can have no control over. But the UN will not hear from them. Im not goin gto speculate on why, as I believe that it has to with economic sanctions on prosperous nations in order to fund struggling or failing nations that have yet to embrace an economic system that will allow the country itself to provide for its people. Thats all I have to say about poltics and "climate change" as I do believe the 2 are connected, but its far more in depth than Republican/Democrat. For reference to the 22,000 scientist I mention, the UN IPCC only has 2,500 people on it, and of those 2500, only 600 are scientists. Why are these 2500 people allowed to decide the issue? What is the UN afraid of? Why wont they hear from these scientists? Usually when someone doesnt want to at least entertain and listen to a discenting opinion they are afraid of what is going to be said because they have a stake in whats going on. And by stake, I dont being a human being on Earth. Im talking about money.

        You say you want to stick to hard evidence ok thats fine. But why arent you willing to listen to other people and their evidence that is contrary to you theory? What does listen hurt? You were right with one thing. Lots of people used to believe that the world was flat, and lots of people also used to believe in global warming. But the fact is thjat the number is dwindling because we have more data on which to base and tweek computer models. NASA has been forced to admit that they made an error in developing one of the most frequestly cited warming models. While the error is most likely statistically irrevelent, the fact is that the model was incorrect. And people were basing entire theorys on this model. I will not dispute that there is global climate change. The Earth has been ALOT cooler and ALOT hotter than it has been now. We produce certain gasses. The earth is slightly warmer. We are making the earth slightly warmer. That is like saying: God is love. Love is blind. Ray Charles was blind, therefore Ray Charles is God. There are many unprovable statements that are being thrown around by the climate change crowd IMO and many models that have been proven incorrect. Its ok to believe in global warming, but please dont be blind to the fact that there is another side to this debate. It is not over just because Al Gore says its over.

        2) Yeah, let's stick to internal combustion engines, that way if we drill in the U.S., what will happen once we run out of oil? We're going to be a nation of technological retards that's going to have to license foreign high-tech and play catch up. Hybrids might not be the ideal solution, but it's a significant step towards EVs, reduce costs and speed up tech development.

        * This is seriously a bunch of tripe. Nothing more than a scare tactic to force people to buy what youa re selling. Run out of oil? You think that we are going to get to that point? Even though we have hydrogen powered cars in the pipeline due to be released for public consumption in about 10 years? We are going to run out of oil? Doom and gloom never solves any problem. Detroit has already started work on hydrogen powered cars. Because like you say, oil will run out. Why wouldnt companies like Ford, Honda and Toyota start looking for the next thing? Well they have an
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hybrids seem to be just a stop gap measure.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Given that fuel costs are a lot less for a hybrid, one could afford to pay, say $125/month more for the vehicle and break even for bottom line transportation costs.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Seeing as my wife and I combined use $100 of gas per month, I don't see how it can make sense for us to replace even one of our cars with a hybrid. But, we already have relatively efficient cars, you know, because we didn't like paying for gas even before this hybrid craze came along...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Even two summers ago when gas was well over $4, hybrid break even points were a minimum of 100,000 miles (Camry v Camry hybrid) and usually far worse than that.

        What we think of as expensive by gas price standards is marginal in terms of an automobile window sticker.

      • 6 Years Ago
      If it was really about saving money on gas, why don't Americans buy diesels?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Diesel is more expensive than gas in the US and good diesels are quite expensive as they tend to be at the luxury end of the market.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Americans prefer large and powerful cars to small economy cars except in crowded cities (such as here, in San Francisco) where small cars are more sensible.

      So, people line up to buy hybrids when gas prices rise enough, and reject those cars after gas prices fall. The only way to assure a continuing demand for hybrids is to keep gas prices high which will likely encourage the Obama crew to raise the gas tax to keep prices high and bring in money to buy votes while blathering about conservation, the environment, and on and on.

      I think the government should stay out of the auto business--the CAFE requirements are especially destructive and unnecessary. CAFE forced domestic car companies to build unprofitable cars to counteract the profitable trucks and SUVs people wanted. Just another way to strangle GM, etc.

      Ford will actually be at a disadvantage having helped itself after the government props up GM and Chrysler to save UAW jobs whose ridiculous benefits and work rules helped wreck the auto companies in the first place.

      Yes, the government is more the problem than the solution.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Great reply. Someone who understands that this is about more than just CO2 and pollution. Something that gets lost in almost every debate abotu this subject.
      • 6 Years Ago
      In a similar study it was found that 88% of Americans have no understanding of economics.
        • 6 Years Ago
        In another related study it was found that 90% of all people are idiots, and 68.7% of statistics are made up.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Yes, and our government should help fund such efforts"-----------Didn't bill Clinton fund the 80 MPG car? He did, D3 chose not to follow it, Toyota went home and said US Government is helping them, can you help us, Japanese government did, and that is what we call Prius.

      D3 hated the 80 MPG car project, which cost only a few million dollars, but they sure do love that 25 billion program that Bush HAD to give them under the pretenses that they need to rebuild their factories to build fuel efficient cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This is absolutely right. The D3 lobbied to exclude Toyota and Honda from the 80MPG program and so they went home and did their own research. This was 1993/1994. Toyota and Honda both released hybrids in Japan in 1997. In 2001, W promptly killed the 80mpg car program and started funding fuel cells...

        The rest is history, but Americans don't learn from the past.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The question isn't the importance of hybrid technology, but what would hybrid technology do for the United States? Everyone must work to use less fossil fuels. From how to light our house and to how we commute. The reader that states it doesn't make economical sense to buy a hybrid, must look at the big picture. We are all stewards of the land. None of us will be here 100 years from now, but we are still responsible as a community. The United States is losing ground in many area's, but the time has come for the US to take the lead in many area's. One of them being the use of hybrids. If the main reason would be cut our dependence on oil, then the answer is YES, everyone should get a hybrid. The price shouldn't be much more then a conventional engine. Mass production would bring the price down. But as Americans were forced to use unleaded gas over regular gas, the same must be done for hybrid vehicles. But real hybrids, not SUV's that get 12 miles a gallon over 8 miles a gallon. Real cars for American's should be a priority.
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