Monday, November 14, 2011

Why People Say and Do Two Completely Different Things and How This Impacts CAFE

In a recent Consumer Reports survey, a whopping 93% of responders said that they would like to see higher fuel economy standards. In fact, 80% support CAFE's plan for a 55 mile per gallon average across all vehicles by 2025. In order to achieve CAFE's goals of 55mpg, 56% of those surveyed say they will  consider a hybrid or an electric vehicle for their next purchase. Even better, 80% said that they would pay more for a fuel efficient vehicle that would save them money in the long run. Such results paint a very rosy picture for the automotive industry as it appears that the public is certainly willing to adopt and pay for new technology to raise their MPG. Unfortunately, in reality the picture is completely different. According to the latest data available only a scant percentage of car buyers actually do buy hybrids, in fact hybrid market share of all cars sold in October was less than 2%. This means that only 4% of those considering a hybrid actually buy a one and everyone else was just pretending. Even accounting for the fact that not every model is available as a hybrid it is hard to explain the enormous discrepancy. Besides, wouldn't someone wanting to buy a hybrid make the sacrifice and buy a Camry hybrid versus an Accord? The fact of the matter is that talk is cheap and when real money comes into play people are reluctant to pony up the dough  to get a hybrid. While buying a hybrid or an electric versus a conventional internal combustion requires actual monetary and vehicular commitments, answering a phone poll does not.  In regards to CAFE, politicians and everyone else must remain skeptical regarding surveys of people's hopes about fuel economy and should instead take a good look at reality.

56% of people say they are considering hybrids for their next purchase

Yet Ford sold over 2.5 times more F series in October than all hybrids combined.

No comments:

Post a Comment