People want green cars, they just don't want to pay extra for them

If you ever peruse the weekend newspapers (you do remember what those are don't you?) you've probably seen the ads from car dealers tout the monthly payment in big bold type while hiding the total price in the fine print. That's because most people buy a car based on their budget and the monthly payment. They try to get the most car/truck they can for a given monthly payment. Unfortunately for most carmakers, while buyers would like to be more environmentally friendly, they tend not see going green as getting more car for their money.

A study by J.D. Power found that only eleven percent of buyers were "very willing" to pay more for a greener car. They also found that women and people with higher degrees of education were more willing to pay extra for cleaner emissions and reduced fuel consumption. Car makers, of course, are very aware of this phenomenon. That's why there is so much effort to find cost effective (read: cheaper) ways of reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Customers are willing to pay for extra functionality that they can see and use like navigation systems and entertainment systems. The stuff they don't see - like the carbon dioxide coming from the tailpipe - doesn't get people excited enough to spend money. That's why in the short run at least we'll probably see more mild hybrids and direct injection than other, more expensive, technologies.

[Source: J.D. Power]

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