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U.S. Consumers Show Interest In Plug-In Hybrid Technology

Twenty-seven percent of U.S. vehicle owners say they are likely (13%), very likely (8%) or extremely likely (6%) to include plug-in hybrid engine technology in their next vehicle, according to research by Harris Interactive. 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 with plug-in hybrid engine technology, and that includes nine percent who say they are very or extremely familiar. Males (30%) are more likely to be familiar with the technology than females (16%).

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

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 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 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.

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