CNW Marketing Research is reporting that around 30 percent of car shoppers were considering a hybrid a year back, and willing to pay a premium of almost $2,500 over a non-hybrid for the privilege. The interest level has dropped to just 12 percent now however, and the premium that's acceptable has fallen by over 50 percent to just $1,152. Fuel prices have fallen during the same period indicating a direct link between fuel prices and hybrids, whose main selling point is fuel economy.

Its hardly a surprising link, but with hybrid sales down from 2.1 percent in August to 1.6 percent in December, car makers must be wondering if their hybrid R&D costs are worth the effort. Nevertheless, car makers are continuing to drive forward technologies that will increase fuel economy, decrease green house gas emissions, and promote renewable energy sources.

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[Source: Eric Berger / SciGuy]

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