"The best evidence points to the fact that consumers undervalue fuel economy by approximately a factor of 2. If you ask auto manufacturers what they think, they will usually tell you that consumers will pay for about 3 years worth of fuel savings and not more than that.
…For what we heard about conventional technologies, since every manufacturer will be adopting these technologies to meet the fuel economy standards, and they are relatively cost-effective, I don’t think we have a consumer acceptance problem.
…But, if [hybrids] are going to cost $2,000-$3,000 more, then I think we have a consumer acceptance problem. We can either say to the manufacturers ‘that’s your problem, you’ll have to subsidize your vehicles’, or we can create a market environment where that makes sense to the consumer."
- David Greene, Corporate Fellow
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Department of Energy