New Poll Indicates China Could Make Rapid Switch To Fuel-Efficient Hybrids And All-Electric Vehicles

Submitted by

A new poll provides the first clear signal that Chinese motorists, whose current top car choices are fuel-wasting sedans and SUVs, could make a stunningly rapid switch to fuel-efficient hybrid and all-electric vehicles.

The poll, from German automotive supplier Continental Corp., found that nearly 82% of Chinese drivers know nothing about fuel-efficient drive systems. After the technology was explained, nearly 54% said they could imagine buying a hybrid vehicle, and approximately 74% said they have a very positive impression of electric vehicles, which experts expect to be widely available within two to three years.

The potential economic and political significance of these poll results cannot be underestimated. Even with motorists in the U.S. driving less because of high gasoline prices, the increase in car ownership in China and India continues to strain global oil supplies. This strain is likely to get worse over the next couple of years, given last week’s forecast by the International Energy Agency that additional supply and refinery capacity will be coming on line slower than anticipated due to rising costs. The faster the world switches to alternative drive vehicles, the faster the global price of oil and gasoline may come down.

Continental, which hopes to be a global leader in assembling the new longer-lasting lithium-ion battery “packs” that will go into alternative drive vehicles, said its job will be to “highlight the additional benefits of alternative drives.”

The poll of 1,000 drivers in each of eight countries found that Japanese motorists know the most about hybrid and all-electric vehicles, while British and American motorists know the least, even less than Chinese drivers. Overall, the poll found that about half of all motorists would be willing to pay more for a hybrid vehicle, expecting lower operating costs in return.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *