Alternative Fuel Sector May Need Government Support for Growth

While many advancements have been made with alternative energy in relation to the automotive industry, sales of hybrid, electric and other alternative vehicles are still relatively low compared to overall sales. A recent survey conducted by Booz and Co. of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) found many believe the sector will improve, but only if the government continues to provide support.

The report indicates 70 percent of OEM executives are more confident in alternative powertrains than they were last year, with the exception of fuel-cell and battery-electric vehicles. Roughly 71 and 75 percent of respondents claim they are less enthusiastic about fuel cell and electric technology, respectively. However, about 58 percent claim continued government support would boost non-gas vehicles to account for at least 10 percent of the total market share, while only 30 percent think it will succeed without federal backing. Government intervention includes setting up a nationwide charging station infrastructure for electric and hybrid vehicles.

"One of the challenges we've had is that there hasn't been a consistent energy policy for a long period of time," Scott Corwin, a partner at Booz and Co., told WardsAuto.

The news source indicates many consumers are choosing to purchase hybrids and electric vehicles for the tax incentives rather than for fuel efficiency. If the government removes these incentives, there may be a sharp decline in sales for this sector.

Another issue that may be turning drivers away from alternative energy vehicles is the overall design. Many hybrid and electric vehicles are given unique physical appearances that make them look, in a word, futuristic. But this may not be the best image for the new breed of automobiles, which is why many automakers have introduced alternative drivetrains on their popular models.

Those looking to get behind the wheel of a used hybrid or other vehicles that rely on alternative energy can head to New Jersey State Auto Auction. The used car dealer in NJ offers a variety of makes and models at affordable prices.