J.D. Power Sees Three-Fold Growth for Hybrids by 2015

According to the latest forecast by J.D. Power and Associates, sales of hybrid and diesel-powered cars will more than triple by 2015. The new study predicts that hybrids will account for seven percent of the car market in 2015—up from 2.2 percent in 2007— and diesel vehicles will carve out a 10 percent market share as compared to last year’s 3.2 percent.

Historically, J.D. Power has offered one of the auto industry’s most conservative hybrid forecasts. For years, the company has also forecast higher penetration for diesel vehicles compared to hybrids—a scenario that has not yet materialized.

Forecasting methodologies require listening closely to statements by auto executives, but not necessary taking them at their word. Anthony Pratt, former senior manager of global powertrain forecasting at J.D. Power, told HybridCars.com in 2005, “A fair amount of grandstanding takes place by vehicle manufacturers.”

Accounting for hybrid vehicles in development, but perhaps years away from dealerships, is tricky business. For example, the latest J.D. Power hybrid study includes significant sales numbers for the Chevrolet Volt. According to John Teus, spokesperson at J.D. Power, the Volt is forecast to sell 11,059 units in 2010. Teus told HybridCars.com, “Our sales forecasts take the Volt from 58,700 units in 2011 to 70,000 in 2014.”

The latest numbers from J.D. Power show an upswing in smaller four-cylinder engines over larger gas-thirsty powerplants. Smaller car sales are expected to make up 35 percent of the market in 2015, up from 30 percent in 2007.

J.D. Power evaluated other green alternatives to powering automobiles, like hydrogen fuel cells and electric vehicles, but expects these technologies to have a negligible impact for many years.


  • Dick

    Hybrids are wonderful, but most people won’t buy them because of the cost. It is better to buy a normal-sized used car and spend the extra money you would spend on a hybrid for gas.

    Toyota will be the king in hybrids and the Big 3 will have already filed for bankruptcy and be out of business by 2015.

  • VaPrius

    It’s better only if you don’t breath, don’t have kids (or don’t care about them), and the price of fuel never goes up.

  • steved28

    I disagree Dick. Between the Tax credit and my fuel savings, I will recover the extra cost of my (Altima) hybrid in one year. Plus, people want relief from the prices at the pump, I doubt they would take the money saved by buying used and fund it for gas. Especially since it’s probably borrowed money and not actually in their pockets.

    As far as JD is concerned, they don’t have much credibility as far as I’m concerned anyway. And it appears they are listening more to the manufacturers in their projections than the public. Just about everyone who has seen my car wants one. Most don’t know they are available (and in many cases they are not) and also don’t understand the technology. But I have faith there are enough educated people out there to drive the market in the next few years.

  • easyray

    Why would anyone want a diesel powered auto, when the price of diesel fuel is almost a dollar per gallon higher than 87 octane fuel, also, what about the cost of replacing the batteries in the hybrids?

  • Richard T.

    What’s up with all the disinformation about the cost of hybrids? I think there is a lot of intentional deception about alternative technologies. I bought a 2008 Prius about a month ago, and the price was 24,280. Let’s go ahead and dispel the cost myth right now:

    A similarly equipped Camry: 23,250
    A similarly equipped Altima: 24,180
    A similarly equipped Sonata: 22,200

    And here’s the thing, I’m getting an average 52MPG!

  • Anonymous

    *what about the cost of replacing the batteries in the hybrids?*

    With the battery packs having 100,000 mile warranty, it’s not worse than rebuilding an engine that wears out. And the batteries are coming down in cost. Don’t think it’s as big an issue as some make it to be. Also with regenerative braking, the brake pads don’t wear as fast, and tires are smaller and less expensive. Have my 08 Prius, love it and getting 53mpg average since I’ve had it. Out the door cost with tax, lic, etc was $25,188. Comparable to similar sized cars.

  • TD

    Steved,

    How do you like your altima hybrid? I’m currently shopping for a hybrid. What kind of mileage are you seeing?

  • Boom Boom

    Richard, comparing the Prius to the Camry is apples to oranges. If anything, the Prius should be compared to a Corrola/Matrix/etc. (though it is admitted inbetween the camry and corolla). And besides, both the Camry and the Altima have hybrid versions, so compare those numbers (2008).

    Altima Hybrid MSRP: 25,170
    Altima I4 S (Stripped down, +2k for options on Hybrid): 20,680
    Altima V6 SL (Loaded): 28,380

    Camry I4 SE: 22,240
    Camry Hybrid: 25,200
    Camry V6 XLE: 28,120

    So, you’re looking at $3,000 for a hybrid. Folks already pay more than the premium on a hybrid for a car with extra performance (and poorer gas mileage) and they’ll never make that money back, so it isn’t hard to beleive that buyers will pay a little extra for something that will actually save them money.

    Every day that goes by, hybrids get more appealing. The doomsday vision of hybrids with dead batteries all over town has not happened. No one has shown a significant down side to hybrids.

    Eventually current hybrids will give way to electric based vehicles (like the GM Volt, etc.) but for now, the technology works and is only going to get better.

  • Boom Boom

    TD,
    Check this out:
    http://www.greenhybrid.com/compare/mileage/

    I drive a Honda Civic Hybrid and the numbers on this website are basically inline with what I’m getting. My friends with Prii, also get mileage in the same ball park as the site. The site takes an aggregate of lots of drivers so it doesn’t just show a few hyper-milers or leadfoots.

  • steved28

    TD,

    I’m lovin’ this car. Especially the extra torque of the electric motor when needed. I got turned on to it by a friend in NY (I am in MA). He liked it so much he bought a second one for his wife. I can get an honest 36mpg around town, but I have not had a day that has reached 60 degrees yet since I owned it! So I have had the heater running quite a bit (purchased Early January). The few days around here that have been in the 50′s I have noticed the car runs a lot more on electric and mileage increases. I tend to drive fast (80mph) on the highway, and we have a place in Maine 3 hours away. On those trips I get around 33-34mpg.

    I’m 50 years old, and have owned a lot of different cars and trucks, this car is one of the best (so far) I have owned. Even my 16 yr old daughter and her friends think it’s very cool! I think this car is a well kept secret, I even negotiated over $4K off the sticker. (Sticker was $28,125, I paid $23,800) on a 07′ leftover off the lot. Just got my $2,350 tax credit this week, for me it was a no brainer. We take this car first now (as opposed to our Explorer) and are saving oodles at the pump.

  • TD

    Thanks for the info. I hadn’t looked at the Altima before. I’ll take a look.

  • steved28

    Great points Boom Boom, plus people must realize that as an added bonus, hybrids have better performance! I would venture to say my Altima hybrid has comparable performance to the V6 (at least with regard to torque, which is where you perceive the power difference in “seat of the pants” scenarios). It also has more HP than the standard 4 cyl.

  • Anonymous

    Why drive a diesel? Lots of reasons:
    - MPG rivals hybrids
    - Lots of torque at low rpms = fun to drive and better at towing
    - Can run on Biodiesel blends
    Etc.
    It is true diesel is currently more expensive (April 08). Diesel is usually more expensive in winter, an cheaper in summer.

  • BoilerCivicHy

    Dick, also keep in mind if you buy a dependable proven hybrid brand like the civic, they hold their resale value incredibly. I paid 15,000 for my civic 3 years ago with 30,000 miles on it. It now has 75,000 miles on it and still shows a sale value on Kelly of 14,000. Got any american made cars that you can drive for 45,000 miles and 3 years and only lose $1,000 dollars of value on. I think not. I will be buying another new civic this year as a matter a fact.

  • Richard T.

    I think you missed my point. I OWN a Prius and only paid — on average — about a thousand more than traditional IC powered mid-sized sedans. The Prius is classified as a midsized sedan, so I was comparing it to other midsized sedans. I was simply pointing out that the initial cost of a hybrid is inflated by disinformation from . . . well, I don’t know where all the crazy ideas about hybrids come from. My point is that my Prius just didn’t cost that much more than other COMPARABLY equipped midsized sedans, and I’m saving about 140 bucks a month at the pump. My payments for the Prius are only about 15 bucks a month more than I paid for my Element too, so I’m really saving money with the Prius.

    For those of us who own hybrids, I think it’s absolutely imperative that we compare them to traditional IC cars. After all, we should be trying to convince people that hybrids are BETTER than their traditional cousins.

    Apples to oranges? I agree. But the comparisons MUST be made if we want other people to stop believing all the lies about hybrid technology.

  • Boom Boom

    Richard,
    Enough with the Prius high horse man. I directly addressed your point on cost (by making a better comparison). Hybrids can compete with ICE cars, and I agree that we MUST compare them as such. This is why I made the comparison to the IDENTICAL Ice power sedan. If you try to argue that a Prius is the same as a Camry, people will think that hybrids mean smaller and less powerful, which isn’t true. I drive a Civic hybrid. I compare it to a Civic ICE. Just because Toyota managed to stretch the wheelbase on the Prius and make it “qualify” as a mid-size sedan doesn’t make it comparable to a Camry. If that were true nobody would be buying Camry Hybrids, and they are.

  • sociopathicregret

    Seven percent? SEVEN DAMN PERCENT? That’s not going to make an ounce of difference when you take into account the growing oil demands in other countries. If we wanted a real difference, we’d need to see ten times that number if not more. Because of rising oil demand worldwide combined with few discoveries and production that cannot keep up, we are rapidly approaching (or have already hit) peak oil. The companies may say we need to be realistic about transitions and that it’ll take thirty years, but the facts are:

    1) we don’t HAVE thirty years
    2) Electric car technology is already ready
    3) Any supposedly ‘big benefits’ like described in this article will be outweighed by changing conditions; unless we have REAL changes there will be very big economic problems.

  • Anamarija

    Hello, I live in Europe and we don’t have so much Hybrid cars.
    In my country we have only few models of hybrid cars and they’re expensive. For example, in USA you can buy 2 Toyota Prius for one Prius in Croatia < ---that's country I'm from.

    So, that’s the biggest problem…PRICE!