This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 13, 2002

Study: Most New Car Buyers Would Consider Buying Hybrids

A survey of more than 5,200 recent U.S. car buyers found that 60 percent would give strong consideration to buying a hybrid electric vehicle. The survey, released by J.D. Power and Associates last week, found that most of these car buyers wanted a hybrid electric version of the vehicle class that they bought, the majority of which were minivans and sport utility vehicles. But nearly all selected a midsize hybrid electric car as their second choice, suggesting a strong market for midsize vehicles as well. And although the study found an 80 percent awareness of hybrid vehicles among new car buyers, it also found that many had misconceptions or lacked information about the vehicles and their features. See the J.D. Power press release.

One U.S. company claims to have a new approach to hybrid electric vehicles. The Paice Corporation announced in late February that it has developed a high-voltage hybrid electric drive called a Hyperdrive. The system uses high-voltage semiconductors for its control systems, a feature that the company claims will lower the electrical system's weight and cost. Paice designed a 600-volt system for European commercial vehicles and used software models to demonstrate improved performance while lowering fuel consumption by 20 to 27 percent.. See the Paice press release.