Consumers Get Real About Hybrid Fuel Economy Numbers
As consumers become more realistic about the fuel efficiency capabilities of hybrid vehicles, the percentage of new-vehicle shoppers who are considering a hybrid has declined, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Alternative Powertrain Study(SM) released today.
Now in its second year, the Alternative Powertrain Study examines the reasons why consumers consider or avoid alternative powertrain vehicles. The study includes the Automotive Environmental Index, which combines U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publicly available information data related to fuel economy, air pollution and greenhouse gases for 2007 model-year vehicles and J.D. Power and Associates' voice of the customer data related to stated fuel economy. Voice of the customer data is also used to help determine the relative importance of these environmental factors.
The study finds that 50 percent of new-vehicle shoppers are considering a hybrid -- down from 57 percent in the 2006 study. While a general decline can be observed across all age groups, in particular younger vehicle shoppers, those 16 to 25 years old, appear less interested in the powertrain technology, with 60 percent considering a hybrid in 2007, down from 73 percent in 2006. The average additional price hybrid considerers are willing to pay for this powertrain is $2,396, with the expectation of receiving an improvement of 18.5 miles per gallon (MPG) over a traditional vehicle of similar size.
"In the 2006 study, we found consumers often overestimated the fuel efficiency of hybrid-electric vehicles, and the decrease in consideration of hybrids in 2007 may be a result of their more realistic understanding of the actual fuel economy capabilities," said Mike Marshall, director of automotive emerging technologies at J.D. Power and Associates. "While hybrid sales are steadily increasing, they continue to face competition for market share against an increasing offering of other alternative powertrains and fuels options."
The study also finds that consumer consideration for purchasing clean diesel vehicles, which were newly introduced to the market in 2007, is at 23 percent. In 2006, only 12 percent of shoppers considered purchasing diesel vehicles. On average, considerers of this powertrain are willing to pay an additional $1,491 for the clean diesel option and expect an average additional fuel economy of 15 mpg.
"As the automotive industry steadily offers more alternative powertrain/fuel options to consumers, buyer preferences will continue to shift the market in the coming years," said Marshall. "With high fuel prices, perceived dependency on foreign oil and an increased focus on environmental issues all being top of mind among consumers, manufacturers will not only have to continuously make efforts to produce more fuel efficient vehicles, but also to diversify the range of options."
Toyota is the highest-ranking nameplate in the Automotive Environmental Index, followed by Volkswagen and Honda, respectively. Toyota has improved by six rank positions since the 2006 study and has a strong showing with both hybrid and gasoline-powered models. Honda also performs well, with four models in the top 30. Ford and Nissan follow, each with three models. Similar to 2006 results, there are only two luxury models in the top 30; the Lexus GS 450h and RX 400h.
In 2007, the top 30 Automotive Environmental Index includes 10 hybrid models -- up from eight models in 2006:
Ford Escape Hybrid Mercury Mariner Hybrid Honda Accord Hybrid Saturn VUE Green Line Honda Civic Hybrid Toyota Camry Hybrid Lexus GS 450h Toyota Highlander Hybrid Lexus RX 400h Toyota Prius
The remaining models in the Top 30 Automotive Environmental Index are gasoline-powered:
Chevrolet Aveo Honda Fit Mazda3 Pontiac Vibe Chevrolet Aveo5 Hyundai Accent MINI Cooper Toyota Corolla Convertible Ford Focus Hyundai Elantra Nissan Altima Toyota Matrix Ford Focus Station Wagon Kia Rio Nissan Sentra Toyota Yaris Honda Civic Kia Spectra Nissan Versa Volkswagen New Beetle
The 2007 Alternative Powertrain Study includes responses from more than 4,000 consumers in May and June 2007 who plan to purchase a new vehicle within the next two years. The voice of the customer components of the Automotive Environmental Index are derived from the 2007 Alternative Powertrain Study and the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Initial Quality Study(SM). Find more detailed findings on new-vehicle fuel efficiency as well as model photos and specs by reading an article or reviewing the green efficiency ratings at JDPower.com.
Automotive Environmental Index: Top 30 Models
Chevrolet Mercury * Aveo * Mariner Hybrid * Aveo5 MINI * Cooper Convertible Ford * Escape Hybrid * Focus * Focus Station Wagon Nissan * Altima * Sentra * Versa Honda * Accord Hybrid * Civic * Civic Hybrid * Fit Pontiac * Vibe Saturn * VUE Green Line Hyundai * Accent * Elantra Toyota * Camry Hybrid * Corolla * Highlander Hybrid * Matrix * Prius * Yaris Kia * Rio * Spectra Lexus * GS 450h * RX 400h Volkswagen * New Beetle Mazda * Mazda3 Automotive Environmental Index Nameplate Ranking (Based on a 1,000-point scale) Toyota 678 Volkswagen 664 Honda 644 Kia 642 Mazda 636 Hyundai 622 Pontiac 605 Saturn 601 Suzuki 599 Subaru 582 Nissan 572 Mitsubishi 567 Audi 552 Industry Average 549 Lexus 542 Buick 528 BMW 524 Saab 521 Mercury 505 Acura 501 Volvo 497 Isuzu 495 Porsche 487 Ford 485 Chrysler 484 Jaguar 482 Infiniti 460 Mercedes-Benz 456 Dodge 453 Chevrolet 431 Lincoln 428 Jeep 415 Cadillac 370 Land Rover 323 GMC 309
|<< PREVIOUS||NEXT >>|
blog comments powered by Disqus