2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid - production modelEnlarge Photo
It's a refrain we've often heard here at Green Car Reports and elsewhere: environmentally friendly technology and products are great, but consumers won't adopt them until they're competitively priced.
Now, research firm GfK has conducted a study to prove (or disprove) that hypothesis, and the results are...interesting.
GfK's latest Green Gauge survey asked consumers across America to answer questions about their shopping habits. Here are the major takeaways:
What's especially disconcerting about that last statistic is that today's auto shoppers have many, many more eco-friendly options than they did four years ago, from hybrids to electric cars to fuel-efficient conventional vehicles. That suggests that today's green-car manufacturers are going to have a tough time selling those new models. And like a nasty Catch-22, the prices of those vehicles won't truly go down until sales pick up and economies of scale kick in.
Thankfully for eco-friendly car fans, there is some cause to be optimistic. Fuel-efficiency remains a major concern among shoppers -- and it'll likely continue to be so, as long as fuel prices stay high.
Then, too, there's Toyota's new (thought admittedly vague) plan to roll out quite a few hybrids over the next few years. If anyone can jump-start the green car market, it's probably the world's largest automaker.
Would you pay more for an eco-friendly ride? How much more? Drop us a line, or leave a note in the comments below.