Consumers Weigh Options In Car Purchases

DETROIT (WWJ) – As the auto industry continues to develop alternative powertrain vehicles, consumer consideration for these vehicles is on the rise, but it’s a slow process.

Infrastructure, price, driving range and maintenance concerns continue to dampen enthusiasm about these technologies according to the 2011 AutoTECHCAST Study just released.

Forty percent of consumers who are somewhat or not at all likely to consider a hybrid electric vehicle still express reservations about replacing the batteries, while 43% of consumers indicate that pure electric vehicles will not travel as far as they need, an increase over last year (36% in 2010).

When price is taken into account, consideration for pure electric engines has more than doubled over the past year (5% in 2011, 2% in 2010) and is in-line with consideration for plug-in hybrid technology. And when consumers consider specific brands for hybrid technology, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and General Motors take the top spots.

According to the study, consumers still have a lot of questions about these technologies, both financial and environmental.

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