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Harris/AutoTECHCAST Poll: 27% Want PHEVs
Sep 19, 2007 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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EVWorld reports on a very interesting study, showing how high is the awareness and interest in PHEVs. A few notable points showing high level of interest but at times unrealistic expectations:

  • 84% would rather plug in every day than go to a gas station weekly, but only 52% expect to plug in as often a s once a day.
  • It appears 83% have relatively easy access to a plug.
  • 34% drive less than 20l miles daily, but no one wants that electric range; cumulatively, 55% of people drive less than 40 miles daily, but only 2% want that all-electric range: 38% (cumulatively 40%) want over 40-mile range. So logically, the sweet spot is 20-30 -- GM looking for 40 makes sense without further consumer education/mind-mapping!

See the full tabular data at­general.cfm?pageIDENT=harris_phevstudy.cfm

25% of U.S. Consumers Considering Plug-In Hybrid Source: Harris Interactive [Sep 18, 2007] Harris National Study Finds More Than One Quarter of Vehicle Owners Likely to Include Plug-in Hybrid.­news.cfm?newsid=16204

According to the latest wave of the Harris Interactive AutoTECHCAST(SM) study, more than one-quarter (27%) of U.S. vehicle owners(1) say they are likely (13%), very likely (8%) or extremely likely (6%) to include plug-in hybrid engine technology in their next vehicle(2). When presented with a suggested market price of $3,200, consideration for the technology drops to a net sixteen percent. Males (27%) and females (27%) are equally likely to include the technology in their next vehicle, while entry SUV owners (45%) show the highest levels of interest in plug-in hybrid technology compared to other vehicle segment owners.

In general, more than one in five (23%) of adult vehicle owners say they are at least familiar(3) with plug-in hybrid engine technology, and that includes (9%) who say they are very or extremely familiar. Males (30%) are more likely to be familiar with the technology than females (16%).

Stephen Lovett, Director of Automotive & Transportation Research at Harris Interactive states, "While these numbers are optimistic for such a new technology, there's certainly room for building awareness. Consumers' increasing concerns over rising fuel costs, as our study also shows, is a real factor driving interest in more fuel efficient, economic vehicles."

These are some of the results from the Harris Interactive AutoTECHCAST study, a bi-annual survey of adult vehicle owners in the United States. AutoTECHCAST provides in-depth U.S. consumer trends on 76 advanced automotive technologies. The study was conducted online between June 28 and July 18, 2007 among 9,937 U.S. vehicle owners.

Plugging-in versus Filling up: Consumers Prefer Charging Up

Among vehicle owners who say they are at least likely to include plug-in hybrid technology in their next vehicle, 84 percent say they would prefer plugging in versus filling up at the gas station each week. Less than half (45%) say they expect to have to charge the vehicle once a day. Three in 10 (29%) expect to charge the vehicle two to three times per week, and another 15 percent expect a weekly charge. In terms of charging time, there are varying expectations. Three in 10 (30%) of those considering plug-in technology in their next vehicle expect a two to four hour charge, another 30 percent expect a five to seven hour charge, and 20 percent expect an eight to 10 hour charge. Those considering plug-in hybrid technology, on average, expect to get adequate mileage out of one charge.

Lovett comments, "The fact that consumers overwhelmingly prefer to plug in their vehicles each night than to visit a fueling station weekly shows that consumers are really ready for this technology, and perhaps is an indication of their fueling frustrations in general."

Where Would Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle Owners Park?

The challenge for plug-in hybrid vehicle owners might be in the places they choose to park. Forty-six percent of those who will consider plug-in hybrid technology say they park in a private garage that is either connected or separated from the home, and more than one-third (37%) say they currently park in a private driveway when they are home. Six percent say they currently park their vehicle on the street.

Lovett adds, "This technology may be well suited for those who park in private garages, but that represents less than half of those saying they will consider the technology in their next vehicle. Accessing electricity for charge ups is another question, however. Utilities and manufacturers will have to consider provisions needed for those who park street-side, in driveways and in public-parking garages as demand for the technology grows; and 200-foot extension cords probably will not be the answer."

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