The company's "2011 U.S. Green Automotive Study" predicts the market will not grow as rapidly as the number of these vehicles rolling into dealerships in coming months and years and that ultimately, automakers will end up fighting over the relatively few consumers who are willing to drive green.
The inaugural study examines attitudes of U.S. consumers toward four primary alternative powertrain technologies: hybrid electric vehicles; clean diesel engines; plug-in hybrid electric vehicles; and battery electric vehicles.
The study, which measures consideration rates of these kinds of vehicles for consumers' next new vehicle purchase, says that cost for most consumers -- especially initial cost -- matters more than the environment.
What consumers do care about with regard to these vehicles is saving money at the pump. The firm says 75% of consumers who indicate they would consider a hybrid electric vehicle cite lower fuel costs as a main benefit. In contrast only 50% cite 'better for the environment' as a main benefit of these vehicles.
By the end of 2016, J.D. Power and Associates expects there to be 159 hybrid and electric vehicle models available for purchase in the U.S. market, way up from 31 hybrid and electric models in 2009.