911 Surveys r.e. plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) extensively analyzed.
Collected on Amazon Mechanical Turk crowd-sourcing platform and posted online.
Strongest climate or energy concerns raise odds of PHEV acceptance by 44 or 71.
Those most open to PHEVs will only pay average of $1858 to save $500/yr in gas.
Up-front incentives and ads targeting environmentalists may be most effective.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) show potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increase fuel efficiency, and offer driving ranges that are not limited by battery capacity. However, these benefits will not be realized if consumers do not adopt this new technology. Several agent-based models have been developed to model potential market penetration of PHEVs, but gaps in the available data limit the usefulness of these models. To address this, we administered a survey to 1000 stated US residents, using Amazon Mechanical Turk, to better understand factors influencing the potential for PHEV market penetration. Our analysis of the survey results reveals quantitative patterns and correlations that extend the existing literature. For example, respondents who felt most strongly about reducing US transportation energy consumption and cutting greenhouse gas emissions had, respectively, 71 and 44 times greater odds of saying they would consider purchasing a compact PHEV than those who felt least strongly about these issues. However, even the most inclined to consider a compact PHEV were not generally willing to pay more than a few thousand US dollars extra for the sticker price. Consistent with prior research, we found that financial and battery-related concerns remain major obstacles to widespread PHEV market penetration. We discuss how our results help to inform agent-based models of PHEV market penetration, governmental policies, and manufacturer pricing and marketing strategies to promote consumer adoption of PHEVs.