The move from gasoline-powered cars of the 20th century to the pure electric car of the 21st century has a middle ground. That’s the Hybrid car. But who buys them?
The target market for hybrid cars includes people who are not yet ready to swap their gas guzzler for a pure electric vehicle. For them, a hybrid is a great option that gives the benefits of both – the benefits of an electric vehicle when needed and the reassurance of a gasoline car that they can always fill up at a gas station if needed.
Now, when it comes to hybrid cars, there is no one homogeneous target market. Instead, the target market for hybrid cars is made up of several different types of people who are attracted to hybrids for different reasons.
Some people buy hybrids because they are concerned about the environment and want to do their part in reducing emissions. Others buy hybrids because they are looking for a car that is fuel-efficient and can help them save money on gas. And still, others buy hybrids because they appreciate the advanced technology that hybrid cars offer.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the target market for hybrid cars and explore some of the reasons why people buy them.
The Target Market for Hybrid Cars: Why do people buy Hybrids?
To best understand the target market for hybrid cars we should understand the reasons why people buy hybrid cars.
Here are the main reasons that attract people to hybrid cars over conventional IC engine cars:
- Helping the environment
- Saving money with a fuel-efficient car
- Appreciating the advanced technology
- Exploiting subsidies
Let’s look at these in detail.
1. Helping the environment
A primary motivation that people have for moving from an IC Engine-based gasoline car to an Electric Vehicle or a Hybrid Vehicle is a concern for the environment. By switching to a Hybrid, people hope to do their part in reducing emissions and helping the environment.
With the traditional IC engine-based cars, emissions are a significant problem. The burning of gasoline results in the release of harmful gases like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. These gases are responsible for air pollution and climate change.
Contrast this with pure electric vehicles like Tesla, which have zero emissions. And hybrids can have significantly lower emissions than IC engine cars.
So, people who are looking to do their bit for the environment but are not ready to go full electric, often turn to hybrid cars.
2. Saving money with a fuel-efficient car
Another reason that attracts people to hybrid cars is the fact that they are much more fuel-efficient than IC engine cars. This is especially attractive to people who have to commute long distances or drive often.
The fuel efficiency of a hybrid car comes from the fact that it uses both an electric motor and a gasoline engine. The electric motor is used for starting up the car and for low speeds. This means that less gasoline is used overall and fuel costs are reduced.
Many hybrids use the electric motor as the default and only switch to the IC engine when the battery drops below a certain level. Such cars are even more fuel-efficient but require more frequent charging.
3. Appreciating the advanced technology
Another target market for hybrid cars is people who appreciate the advanced technology that goes into making a hybrid car.
A hybrid car is a complex piece of machinery that combines an electric motor with a gasoline engine. A Hybrid car comes in the form of different architectures. The most common of these are Series Architecture, Parallel Architecture, and Series-Parallel Architecture. Each architecture defines how power is transmitted from the engine and the electric motor to the wheels.
This advanced technology gives Hybrids the cool factor which attracts a certain segment of the target market for hybrid cars.
4. Exploiting subsidies
Many countries offer subsidies to encourage people to switch from IC engine cars to pure electric or hybrid cars. These subsidies can take the form of tax breaks, discounts, the right to use HOV lanes, or even free parking.
This is especially attractive for people who are looking to save money on their next car purchase. With the subsidies, they can get a hybrid car at a much cheaper price than an IC engine car and it costs less to operate too as the battery can often be charged by the kinetic energy from the car’s motion.
Hybrid Cars: What are the factors influencing purchase decisions?
Once someone decides to buy a Hybrid car, they go through a complex decision-making process to select one hybrid car over another. In this section, we will review the main factors which influence a customer’s purchase decisions when it comes to hybrids.
Here are the main purchase decision factors:
- Fuel efficiency
Let’s look at each of these in detail.
A car’s brand is one of the most important factors influencing the purchase decision. Customers want to buy a car from a brand that they trust. They also want to look good driving the car.
A hybrid car is a big purchase and a big deviation from the customer’s comfort zone of buying traditional IC engine gasoline cars. And so customers want to be sure that they are buying a quality product and buying a brand they have purchased before gives them the comfort they need.
The price of a hybrid car is often a deciding factor for customers. A hybrid car can be quite expensive and so people want to be sure that they are getting their money’s worth.
However, the price of a hybrid car is often offset by fuel efficiency savings and subsidies. So, savvy customers tend to consider the total cost of ownership of a hybrid car when making a purchase decision.
3. Fuel efficiency
Fuel efficiency is a key reason people choose to buy a hybrid car. As we saw earlier, hybrids are much more fuel-efficient than IC engine cars. This can lead to big savings for customers who have to commute long distances or drive often. And it is good for the environment too as it cuts emissions of harmful gases.
Yet not all Hybrids are created equal. Some models have much better fuel efficiency than others. And so, customers often research and compare fuel efficiencies before making a purchase decision.
As we saw earlier, hybrids are complex pieces of machinery. The most common types of Hybrids use both an electric motor and a gasoline engine. This is cutting-edge technology and some people want to be at the forefront of owning the latest and greatest technologies.
But it is important to bear in mind that there are many different types of hybrids each with its own technology. After all, the term “hybrid” simply refers to combining two different types of energy systems to provide propulsion power to a car’s wheels.
The most common combination is a gasoline IC engine and an electric motor. But other combinations are also possible like a Fuel Cell Hybrid which is a combination of a Hydrogen Fuel Cell and an electric motor to provide power to the car’s wheels.
So as you can imagine, the type of technology used can play a major role in the decision-making process of certain customers in the target market for hybrid cars.
The range of a hybrid is defined as the distance it can travel purely on a full battery. A part of the reason why people buy hybrid cars is to drive longer distances with less fuel. In most hybrids, when the battery charge drops under a certain level, the IC engine takes over and charges the battery.
The range is an important factor in a customer’s decision-making process as it is how a customer can measure the return on investment that they make by purchasing an expensive hybrid instead of a conventional car.
Subsidies offered by governments are an important factor influencing the purchase decision of most customers. Customers want to buy a car that will save them money in the long run. They are often willing to pay more for a hybrid car if it means getting a car with subsidies.
Also, many people (rightly) believe that government subsidies will not last forever. This makes them more eager to use existing subsidies to buy a hybrid while they still can.
The target market for hybrid cars predominantly includes people who want to switch from a conventional IC engine car to a hybrid in order to help the environment or save money on gasoline costs or both. Some people are attracted to hybrids for their technology or because they are sometimes subsidized by governments.
Unlike pure electric cars, like a Tesla, Hybrids offer customers some peace of mind that they can drive long distances and even if they run out of battery power, they can still keep running their car on gasoline.
When buying a Hybrid, customers consider many factors before making their final purchase decision. The main factors include the car’s brand, its price, its fuel efficiency, the technology used, the car’s range, and the extent of subsidies offered.