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J.D. Power: Hybrid trend not likely

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October 27, 2010—Global sales of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) is expected to reach 5.2 million units by 2020, or 7.3 percent of car sales expected in 2020, according to a J.D. Power and Associates report release_notesd on Wednesday.

In comparison, the HEV and BEV sales for 2010 are expected to reach 954,500 vehicles, or 2.2 percent of the 44.7 million vehicles sold through the end of 2010, according to the J.D. Power’s report “Drive Green: 2020 More Hope Than Reality.” To get consumers to buy HEVs or BEVs, one or more of the following things needs to happen:
• A significant increase in the price of gas or oil by 2020;
• A breakthrough in green technologies that reduces costs;
• A government policy that encourages consumers to buy HEVs or BEVs.

Consumer concerns about HEVs and BEVs include:
• Dislike of their design;
• Uncertainty of their reliability;
• Dissatisfaction with their performance;
• Uncertainty about their driving range;
• Concern about when they need to be recharged;
• Concern about the cost of purchasing one.

“While considerable interest exists among governments, media and environmentalists in promoting HEVs and BEVs, consumers will ultimately decide whether these vehicles are commercially successful or not," said John Humphrey, senior vice president of automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates. "Based on our research of consumer attitudes toward these technologies—and 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."

Buyers of HEVs and BEVs are generally older, highly educated and high-income individuals, according to the report. As a result, HEVs and BEVs do not seem to appeal to the general population.

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