If you drive a hybrid vehicle, you might be more uncommon than you thought, according to poll results from PEMCO Insurance, which found that less than 2 percent of Northwest drivers say they own a hybrid vehicle.
However, the poll shows that hybrids do remain a consideration for more than half of all drivers. As many as 59 percent of drivers in Oregon and 56 percent of Washington drivers say they would consider buying a hybrid the next time they shop for a new car. “We were surprised to learn so few people drive hybrids in the Northwest, where the ‘green’ mindset is common,” said PEMCO spokesman Jon Osterberg. “Cost continues to be the most significant driver in consumers’ decision making and it seems to be even more significant for Washington drivers.”
About two-thirds of Washington hybrid drivers and just half of Oregon hybrid drivers say they’re motivated by the money that hybrids help them save on gas, rather than a desire to reduce pollutants emitted by gas-powered vehicles. Washington drivers also are three times more likely than Oregon drivers to say that rising gas prices would motivate them to buy a hybrid, according to the poll.
Of those who say they aren’t likely to purchase a hybrid for their next vehicle, at least one-third from both states could be swayed if hybrid vehicles cost less. Thirty-four percent of Oregon drivers and 42 percent of Washington drivers said they would be more inclined to purchase a hybrid if the cost dropped by 5 percent. Similarly, about a quarter of drivers from both states agree that more lucrative tax incentives from the government would help persuade them.
Regardless of consumers’ intentions, PEMCO’s results echo national data that shows the current hybrid market represents less than 3 percent of the overall sales market, according to Edmunds.com.