Hybrid, Electric & Alternative Fuel Cars Face Lower Demand

Oct. 27, 2010 (GreenAnswers Staff) – Consumer demand for alternative fuel cars, such as hybrids and electric vehicles could be lower than expected, according to a forecast by J.D. Power & Associates. The report predicted that by 2020, alternative fuel cars should only amount to 7.3 percent of global sales, a level substantially lower than that advocated by environmentalists.

The forecast calls for combined deliveries of only 5.2 million alternative fuel vehicles out of a total 70.9 million passenger cars predicted to be sold in 2020. This would also be a big disappointment for Toyota and Nissan which are betting big on their Prius and Leaf hybrids, respectively.

According to J.D. Power’s senior vice president of automotive operations, John Humphrey, “barring significant changes to public policy, including tax incentives and higher fuel-economy standards, we don’t anticipate a mass migration to green vehicles in the coming decade.”

Although President Obama has pushed for increased fuel efficiency standards, a compelling government incentive to purchase hybrid vehicles is limited. So far, the purchase of alternative fuel cars has been generally limited to a small niche of the global population, including consumers who are more educated, wealthy and older.

Humphrey explains, “many consumers say they are concerned about the environment, but when they find out how much a green vehicle is going to cost, their altruistic inclination declines considerably.”

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