Is There a Market for Plug-in Hybrid Cars? ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Is There a Market for Plug-in Hybrid Cars?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Is There a Market for Plug-in Hybrid Cars?

Half of the 'target population' is capable of recharging a plug-in hybrid car at home. But very few would have the opportunity to do so elsewhere, say, at work. But with that in mind one third of the population has both the infrastructure and the interest in plug-in hybrid technology.

That's one of the five conclusion made in a recent study at UC Davis (ITS-Davis: The Early U.S. Market for PHEVs: Anticipating Consumer Awareness, Recharge Potential, Design Priorities and Energy Impacts).

The authors conducted an on-line survey of 2,373 new car buying households in the U.S. While most people are unaware of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) and are confused by the terminology, there is a high amount of interest in the technology. There was very little interest in all electric mode, high interest in better fuel economy, but little worry about recharging times.

The researchers also focused in on some recharging scenarios. They were particularly concerned about 'unconstrained' recharging among PHEV buyers. They worry that recharging during the day would 'exacerbate current peak electricity demand,' but also felt the issue could be alleviated through charging controls and/or tariffs.

Over half of the respondents said they could find an outlet within 25 feet at their home.  But only 4.8 % found one at work (6.3% when you restrict to the employed segment).  Only 9.7% could find a handy outlet at any location.

Those surveyed really had little information about hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), which shows car manufacturers have a long way to go to informing the car buying public.  69% of the respondents had little or no familiarity with PHEVs.  And 68% thought a HEV could be plugged in.

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