By on January 21, 2012

The  car industry has high hopes for the young. Automakers have invested and are investing billions into hybrid and electric vehicle, so far with lackluster success. In the U.S., the take rate of hybrid cars is actually coming down from a 2.78 percent peaklet in 2009. The 0.14 percent market share of EVs is too small to move the plotter’s needle. To recoup the investment, new tech vehicles have to be sold in more meaningful numbers. It is the generation Y that is supposed to set the needle in motion. A study of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu promises that Generation Y will make a humongous difference.

Generation Y could be the “generation that leads us away from traditional gasoline-powered vehicles,” Craig Giffi, who is in charge of  Deloitte’s  annual survey of Gen Y auto consumers, told the L.A. Times. The paper summarizes:

According to the Deloitte survey, 59% of Gen Y respondents said they preferred an “electrified vehicle” over any other type of car or truck. They generally defined “electrified” as a hybrid gasoline-electric vehicle. Just 2% said they wanted a pure battery electric vehicle, which reflects the very small number of such cars that people are purchasing.  Just 37% of the respondents preferred vehicles with the traditional gasoline-only powertrain.

Giffi loves the Y generation, so much that he recklessly collides with TTAC’s jargon vigilantes: The enthusiasm for hybrid vehicles turns Gen Y consumers in the U.S. into “game changers,” Giffi said.  And he continued:

“At nearly 80 million strong, they are one of the biggest automobile buying market segments and the largest consumer segment since the baby boomers.

Sure, once they have a job and make money.

Let’s hope Generation Y sticks more to its principles than previous generations. I have seen study after study where customers announced their environmentally responsible intentions, only to reneg on their promise once they were in the showroom.

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104 Comments on “Green Hopes Pinned On The Young: Generation Y Has The Hots For Hybrids, Survey Says...”


  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    “Your Parents F*cked Up The Planet” As a history teacher I laugh at that because every generation has more or less said and thought that. Heck Socrates likely said that to his students.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      Yeah, but this time things are different.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he’d learned in seven years.”

      – Mark Twain (who wasn’t a member of Generation Y)

      (I do think that you can update that by adding 7-10 to each of those numbers in the quote.)

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        My favorite Twain quote. I still have a mounted laminated version of that quote from a literary magazine of the 1970s and the drawing next to it showed an ancient man dressed in graduation robe and gown. My 6th and 7th grade students didn’t understand it when the year started but buy the end of the year most of them got it. I still have students who are now in their 20s who will stop me and tell me the things I tried to ultimately teach them about life were correct.

    • 0 avatar

      “Your Parents F*cked Up The Planet”

      “But even though I’m part of the same generation as your parents, I’m noble and pure and green. I’m not driving a Prius to feel smugly superior. I’m driving a Prius to save the planet.”

  • avatar
    dejal1

    “Sure, once they have a job and make money.”

    Beat me to it.

    I’ve also read a ton of articles that also say the young don’t really care about cars (other than necessary evils).

    I’ve got one nephew 19 in college who has his license but doesn’t care if he drives or not. He will after he graduates if he wants a job somewhere other than on a bus line, but he has a “meh” attitude about cars.

    His brother turned 16 and doesn’t care about getting a learners permit.

    • 0 avatar
      lw

      I believe social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) “fixed” the need for teenage boys to get cars. Let’s face it, cars are an expensive pain the in a$$, so something very powerful must have been driving teenage boys to make this comittment.

      My theory:
      – Everyone has the need to socialize
      – In order to socialize, you need to connect and then communicate
      – Women got the holy grail with the telephone. They are very comfortable picking up a phone, calling a girlfriend and talking for hours. No appointment needed. Just call!
      – I’m a guy and I don’t know any other guys that are comfortable with this. I may call to say hey “come to poker night”, but that’s it. I don’t want to be on the phone for more than a couple minutes.
      – Now you give men chat rooms, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and such and we are all set!
      – Wonderful asynchronous communication without any appointments. Just come and go as you please.

      So in a nutshell… Men needed cars to get to where the other men were and everyone can socialize, come and go as you please. Women never needed cars because they had a phone, and of course why would a pretty lady need a car to drive 100 miles… she can call a man for a ride!

      Now men don’t need cars because they have the Internet and smart phones with social media apps.

      So the impact:
      – Men can now delay buying a car for many years
      – Women will need to buy more cars because men won’t have them
      – Apple sells a crapload of iPhones to power social media!

      The Internet really is the new highway!

      • 0 avatar
        benders

        I blame parenting more than technology. At its core, a car is about the freedom to go where you please. If you have parents who give you everything you want and drive you everywhere you want to go, why would you want a car?

      • 0 avatar
        400 N

        Better still, you can now get laid without having to cruise around in a car.

      • 0 avatar
        Dynasty

        @benders

        You may be right. I started driving in 1992. Prior to that, I was so embarrassed by my parents I’d rather stay home than be seen with them.

        Having a license and a vehicle was the ultimate freedom. All of a sudden I was going places! LOL.

        20 years later, I can almost tolerate being in public with the folks…..

        I don’t recall too many kids back then who had parents who drove them around everywhere.

    • 0 avatar
      MrWhopee

      Yeah, once they got a steady job, a family to feed, a couple little kids, then suddenly the want something safe and conforming, like a traditional midsize sedan.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Of course Gen Y is serious about environmental responsibility. Their formative years were dominated by Al Gore, Global Warming, and a once-in-a-lifetime energy price bubble. But as Disco Stu eventually discovered, a rising fad in 1976 does not necessarily go on forever.

    • 0 avatar
      benders

      As someone squarely in the middle of the demographic (26), we came of age at a time of historically low energy prices. I remember a time when the filling up the Neon us kids got to drive cost $10 to fill the 11 gallon tank. It’s now 3 times that.

      And as far as we’re concerned, hybrids have always been a viable transportation option.

    • 0 avatar
      vww12

      «Of course Gen Y is serious about environmental responsibility»

      I tend to disagree. They’ll happily get on a plane to Cancun about as much as the next fellow, ignoring that fact that a single cross-country trip on a jet liner generates about as much CO2 as driving a Hummer for an entire year.

      Hypocrisy is their mark, since they say they “care” about CO2.

      Me, I couldn’t care less about CO2. I flew 50,000 miles last year, enough to go around the world twice, and made sure to drive our 6.0 liter and 4.2 liter cars as much as necessary. :-)

      • 0 avatar
        DeadFlorist

        The only thing more aggravating than the superficial PC of the American Left is the proud ignorance of the American Right.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        In the past 20 years, India and China alone grew by more than half a billion people.

        Closer to home, in those same 20 years this country grew by 60 million people.

        Meanwhile the arable land, oil deposits, fishery stocks, fresh water, and every other facet of the carrying capacity of the planet grew by zero.

        Self hating white liberals know perfectly well that wearing a sweater indoors and driving a degrading car doesn’t address this.

        The only thing it addresses is their own self hatred.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @Dan

        “Meanwhile the arable land, oil deposits, fishery stocks, fresh water, and every other facet of the carrying capacity of the planet grew by zero.”

        This is not true. Increased technology allows us to do more with less.

        And particularly in the case of oil, the funny thing about it is the more it costs, the more there is of it. We are having an oil BOOM in this country in oil fields that were considered played out. But it is not that there is no oil there, it was just cheaper to get it elsewhere. And the more oil costs, the more attractive alternatives become – we can never run out of oil, at some point it simply will get to expensive that it won’t be used for frivolous things, regardless of your definition of “frivolous”. This is Economics 101, and it astounds me how many people have no understanding of it and work themselves into a lather.

        But ultimately, I agree with you, we have a serious overpopulation of humans problem on this planet, not a resource problem. I’m doing my part by not having children, but eventually to quote the immortal George Carlin “Mother Earth will shake us off like a bad case of fleas”. Plague, famine, war, the population WILL get adjusted. Hopefully more than 50 years from now when I am beyond caring.

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        Cars and planes are approximately equivalent in emissions per passenger per mile since a flight has a whole bunch of people on it so it’s actually not worse than driving to your destination. Most people also don’t fly 50000 miles per year.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Your CO2 numbers are off. I ran the numbers once, and an airliner is surprisingly close to 25 person-miles-per gallon. About the same as driving to Cancun and back with no passengers in the car. Depending on where you live, four trips to Cancun should use about the same amount of fuel as commuting to work by for a year in a CAFE standard car.

        If someone chooses to walk to work and spend his/her enviornmental impact on vacation travel, I find that to be a reasonable choice. Just so long as do it with a full understanding of what they’re doing.

        On the other hand, constructing a stereotype of someone you don’t actually knowbso that you can tear it down in an Internet blog post is just a lame way to argue.

      • 0 avatar
        ihatetrees

        @ krhodes1
        But ultimately, I agree with you, we have a serious overpopulation of humans problem on this planet, not a resource problem.

        Why do the crabbed ledgers of Overpopulation Hysterics consider every addition human being a net cost rather than a resource that increases wealth, productivity and prosperity?

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @ihatetrees

        Because the majority of humans are a waste of oxygen. And the biggest wasters of oxygen are typically the ones who breed like rabbits. Each additional human just means less resources for all the rest.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      For the record our (Gen Y) Formative years were from 1988-2002 (when we collectively entered 8-12 and our minds were mostly formed). We lived through incredibly cheap gas, republicans taking over congress, and Al Gore was the VP to us who lost an election that seemed utterly rigged. The strong difference is that Gen Y most resembles the WWII generation in our belief of sacrifice for the greater good. Gen X took the worst individualist habits of their boomer parents and exploded them.

      • 0 avatar
        JoelW

        Xeranar… recheck your facts. Gen Y are, for the most part, the kids of the Boomers. Gen X is the generation that is sandwiched in between the Boomers and the Boomers’ kids.

      • 0 avatar
        lw

        GEN X and the Boomers really did hose GEN Y….

        – Dumped massive global debt on GEN Y and removed any hope of GEN Y getting benefits like health care, pensions and social security in the future
        – Created regulations that choke off economic growth in the developed world
        – Opened borders so that 3rd world nations get the jobs
        – Ran a housing bubble scam and left GEN Y with unaffordable housing that might be cleaned up for GEN Y’s kids, maybe….
        – Ran a college degree scam and left GEN Y with worthless degrees and massive debt that prevents them for affording a house that they couldn’t afford anyway
        – Don’t forget the credit card scams, the bankruptcy law changes, Medicare scams that spend hundreds of millions on penis pumps…

        The list goes on.. If GEN Y does any more than survive long enough to create GEN Z, they did well.

      • 0 avatar
        benders

        Xeranar is right. The marketing hack in the LA Times article defines Gen Y as those between 19 and 31.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        I’m soon to be 35 and one grandfather was a WWII vet. My father was born in 1954, where the heck does that put me? I was born at the tail end of the Carter admin but the first president I can remember is Regan.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        My father was born in 1954, where the heck does that put me? I was born at the tail end of the Carter admin

        It’s based upon your birth year. You are at the tail end of Generation X, which corresponds to those born between the early 60s (about the time of the Kennedy assassination) and about 1980. The Boomers preceded X, and Y followed X.

      • 0 avatar

        The strong difference is that Gen Y most resembles the WWII generation in our belief of sacrifice for the greater good. Gen X took the worst individualist habits of their boomer parents and exploded them.

        I feel so, so comfortable knowing the future is in the hands of people who think as highly of themselves as you do. Just how did two generations of selfish a$$holes manage to produce a human being as wonderful as yourself?

        One year at the NAIAS preview, I was talking with a photographer who hates cars but had to work the show. He drove a Prius and didn’t think people “should be allowed” to drive a pickup towing a boat. I told him that if someone wanted to tow a boat with their SUV or if someone wanted to feel good about themselves by driving a hybrid, they were both cool as far as I was concerned.

        With a completely straight face and serious tone of voice he replied, “Oh, I’m not driving a hybrid to feel good about myself. I’m driving a hybrid to save the earth for future generations.”

        People will tell themselves the most amazing things.

      • 0 avatar
        JoelW

        Iw says:

        “GEN X and the Boomers really did hose GEN Y….

        – Dumped massive global debt on GEN Y and removed any hope of GEN Y getting benefits like health care, pensions and social security in the future
        – Created regulations that choke off economic growth in the developed world
        – Opened borders so that 3rd world nations get the jobs
        – Ran a housing bubble scam and left GEN Y with unaffordable housing that might be cleaned up for GEN Y’s kids, maybe….
        – Ran a college degree scam and left GEN Y with worthless degrees and massive debt that prevents them for affording a house that they couldn’t afford anyway
        – Don’t forget the credit card scams, the bankruptcy law changes, Medicare scams that spend hundreds of millions on penis pumps…

        The list goes on.. If GEN Y does any more than survive long enough to create GEN Z, they did well.”

        Iw, you’ve provided a perfect example of how Gen X either gets stereotyped, generalized and/or lumped in with some other generation. I’ve seen other posts on this site where Gen X gets lumped in with Gen Y and here you’ve lumped Gen X in with the Boomers.

        Let me make a simple and (hopefully) understandable statement of fact:

        **Gen X is Gen X.**

        Gen X is not Gen Y. Gen X is not the baby boomer generation. Don’t know if I could make it any simpler than that.

        As Gen X comes to prominence it will have to find solutions for the problems created by the generation that preceded it, even as that generation, which represents a population “bubble” moves into retirement age and will need greater levels of support and societal resources.

        One other thing, Iw… you ended by talking about the kids of Gen Y… totally forgetting that there will be a generation that is the children of the Gen Xers. You make the point for me perfectly that Gen Y are the kids of the baby boomers… and it shows.

      • 0 avatar
        rochskier

        I’m sorry, but this Gen X bashing is offensive and flat out incorrect.

        Then again, I probably shouldn’t be surprised because growing up I heard and saw a never-ending stream of commentary of how collectively lazy my generation is.

        Now, possibly due to our lesser numbers and lower visibility, we seem to get stereotyped AND lumped in with the Boomers.

      • 0 avatar
        korvetkeith

        Speak for yourself commie.

      • 0 avatar
        stuntmonkey

        “The strong difference is that Gen Y most resembles the WWII generation in our belief of sacrifice for the greater good. ”

        I’m not picking on you, but this exemplifies the worst discipline problems that I’ve had to deal with with Gen-Y’s in the work place. I admire gen-Y’s drive, but the lack of humility and understanding of what came before is breathtaking. I think every generation has contributed greatly, but there’s no way I would ever compare myself to ‘the greatest generation.’

        This is the difference between the generations. I know a fantastic old bird who is very involved in our community. One function we were lining up for some dinner before a speaking presentation and she blurted “Oh, I hate queuing, it reminds me of the war!” She got a laugh out of all of us… just a small reminder of what the world was like then and how it has gotten better since.

      • 0 avatar
        vent-L-8

        Mat Honan pretty much summed it up: http://www.emptyage.com/post/11591863916/generation-x-doesnt-want-to-hear-it

      • 0 avatar
        JoelW

        @ vent-L-8

        Thank you, thank you, thank you for that link.

        As a Gen Xer, I can say “that about sums it up”.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        “The strong difference is that Gen Y most resembles the WWII generation in our belief of sacrifice for the greater good. ”

        Wow, like the clowns who did not only believe they could somehow decide upon what was the “greater good”, coming up with such wonderful alternatives as socialism (national and otherwise), fascism, feminism and whatever; but were also only all too happy to sacrifice (Jews that is) to achieve it.

        Government education really does work wonders, doesn’t it?

    • 0 avatar

      In high school, I could drive for a week on $1 and could fill up the tank for $5. And they cleaned your windshield, gave you trading stamps, and a free set of glassware. Gas rarely went below 20 cents a gallon or above 33.

      • 0 avatar
        webleyx

        Quote
        As Gen X comes to prominence it will have to find solutions for the problems created by the generation that preceded it, even as that generation, which represents a population “bubble” moves into retirement age and will need greater levels of support and societal resources.
        End Quote.

        This Gen-X’er knows the solution. Carousel!

    • 0 avatar
      vww12

      «Depending on where you live, four trips to Cancun should use about the same amount of fuel as commuting to work by for a year in a CAFE standard car. If someone chooses to walk to work and spend his/her enviornmental impact on vacation travel, I find that to be a reasonable choice.»

      Wow.

      By this line of reasoning, someone who elects to drive a Hummer and not take any trips to Cancun is quite an environmentalist and a serious Tree Hugger™ (!).

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      Over 99% of all carbon dioxide produced on this planet is non-human sourced, if you wiped out every car in America it’s not going to “cool” the Earth down.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        I’m not sure what sourcing CO2 from humans entail, but the burning of fossil fuels has significantly increased atmospheric CO2 levels.

        Of course, anyone even half literate realize that in a world where people starve, what prevents poor folks in China and elsewhere from burning more oil than they do, is us noble, tree hugging Raptor drivers over here driving up prices for the stuff to levels they cannot afford to pay. It’s not as if a few billion people barely making ends meet would just leave the oil in the ground to appease Al Gore or something.

        Humanity WILL burn through the vast majority of available fossil fuel deposits. Those of us able to afford doing so now, if we chose to cut back, MIGHT prolong the time until it’s all burned by a decade or so, but that is insignificant as far as greenhouse gas derived warming goes.

        So all you’re really doing by flying Hummers to Cancun to flaunt your allegiance to saint Rush or whatever, is having a ball at the expense of some Chinaman who croaks because his ambulance driver couldn’t afford gas for his ambulance. It’s not as if the Earth gives a toot.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        Awesome apathetic argument. Won’t really do anything so why bother.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Well, at least the Prius is the perfect car for a generation that mostly does not care about cars. Completely fun and flair free. They really should just come in appliance white with a barcode for a model badge.

    • 0 avatar
      Marko

      For what it’s worth, most Prius drivers I see are older. My “Generation Y” friends and acquaintances vary in their car tastes, but most start off with some hand-me-down used car and aspire to “entry-level” premium cars like the Audi A4 and Acura TSX when they finally graduate and land a good job.

  • avatar
    Auzzya

    I’m part of this Generation Y (1990). I absolutely despise hybrids (except for Porsche’s lovely 911 hybrid, so good), I just hope my parents haven’t f**ked over the world enough so I can get my fill of hydrocarbon-burning enjoyment . I don’t have a vehicle yet, but my dad sold his 1991 Toyota pickup 2wd to our elderly neighbour about 12 years ago (replaced it with a Tacoma), perhaps if I get a small loan from my parents I might buy it off him in a couple months.

    As far as Facebook and other social media taking over in place of cars, I’m not sure I agree with that. Up here in Victoria, BC, one of my best friends just bought his first car, despite living with his parents and with work only a few minutes walk away. In Vancouver, out of my small class of 13, one of my classmates totaled his Ranger and promptly bought another while another owns a Coupe De Ville and a Mazda B2200. One more drives to school daily despite having a bus pass and living on a bus route while others have their own vehicles, despite living in an area with a very good public transit system.

    I want to have some fun, not drive boring appliances! I don’t want connectivity in my vehicle! Give me something light, rear-wheel drive, stick shift, and a decent sound system!

  • avatar

    I wrote about this study as part of my ongoing Generation Why series. The latest one is in the Editorials bar and details this exact Deloitte report. Some great comedy buried in there.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    My wife and I are Gen Ys. I have a ’10 4Runner and my wife has a ’05 MINI S. We’re expecting our first child this summer so the MINI will be relegated to weekend/toy duty when the little one comes along. We’re considering the Toyota Prius, Prius v, or Camry hybrid. I need to decide if the 200hp of the hybrid is worth giving up the fantastic cargo room of the v. But yeah, we’re 100% planning on a hybrid due to the traffic my wife deals with every morning and the number of miles we travel. My family is about 200 miles away, so something that is good on gas, and more importantly, extremely reliable, is what we’ll choose. VW TDIs are out of the question due to reliability*. C segment 40mpg cars aren’t as big as I want in back seat legroom or trunk space. There just isn’t anything else out there that gives me “new baby” space and gas mileage that high.

    * I sold an ’07 GTI for my ’10 4Runner. It was in the shop approximately every 3 months for non-powertrain related issues, so you can understand why I’m not keen on buying another VW. My 4Runner, my dad’s Tacoma, my mom’s Rav4, my father-in-law’s FJ, and my mother-in-law’s Matrix have been flawless. Seriously. 0 defects.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    The is a big difference between meaningless blather (expressed preferences) and how people spend their hard earned pay (revealed preferences). If I had to bet on this one, I would say go with the lowest monthly payment.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    The members of generation Y that have the jobs and credit for new cars are probably also buying houses.

    The houses that they are buying, since they are young and starting out, are probably, in many cases, far from their jobs.

    A long commute can make certain inexpensive hybrids like Priuses and Insights make sense economically, ignoring any environmental concerns.

    Possibly the generation Y members that are considering buying hybrids are considering them for, gasp, purely economically rational reasons.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Just to be fair, the criticism is not about Gen-Y. It’s about how Gen-Y was brought up. But then again, every generation looks foolish in their youth.

    However, it’s a fight that goes on and on. As we (the X’ers) went through life and took on more responsibilities, most of us had to become more shopping-savvy. One of the things that I worry about with Gen-Y is that this isn’t being instilled in them. Brand-consciousness is alive and well and raging. You can’t just have a phone, it has to be an iPhone. You can’t just shop healthy at the local grocery, you have to pay extra at Whole Foods. And you can’t just save gas, you have to do it in a hybrid.

    It’s like 1984 really did happen… and I don’t mean the Orwellian Big Brother thing. The more scary part of that book was it’s accurate depiction of how regimes use over-simplification of language and thought to narrow and shape opinion. So if you are going to do an activity or use an appliance, you’re going to do it with something ‘branded’ because it’s easy to identify the activity that you are doing by it’s label.

    The boomers didn’t grow up in that environment of thought-oversimplification, but they eventually got comfortable with it. The X’ers grew up knowing that it was happening to us. We tried to rebel against it, but we still have a weakness against it. The Millennials… they’re completely steeped in it, but maybe their true formative years are still to come. Who knows, the world economy is tanking, and that will be their great formative challenge in the early adulthood years.

    • 0 avatar
      forraymond

      “The more scary part of that book was it’s accurate depiction of how regimes use over-simplification of language and thought to narrow and shape opinion.”

      This has been the Republican playbook since 1980. That is why we are all going to hell now.

      • 0 avatar
        nikita

        I really, really try and stay out of these pointless political debates here, but this one forced me to violate that policy. CO2, which is produced in huge amounts by nature becomes a “pollutant” in who’s playbook? Both sides play the game.

      • 0 avatar
        supersleuth

        You should really try even harder to stay out, because this popular right-wing talking point is brain-numbingly stupid. The mere fact that there’s already a lot of something- even something that is normally beneficial- around has no bearing on whether more of it would be a good thing. Greatly increasing the *oxygen* content of the atmosphere, for example, would cause enormously disastrous fires all over the place (as has actually happened naturally at earlier geological periods); thus, if there were such a thing as manmade oxygen emissions that threatened such a result, that would indeed be a case of oxygen pollution.

        Really, scientific illiterates just need to STFU on technical subjects. Especially if they *imagine* they’re clever.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        “Really, scientific illiterates just need to STFU on technical subjects. Especially if they *imagine* they’re clever.”

        Man, wouldn’t it be nice if politicians and lawmakers subscribed to that one.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Really, scientific illiterates just need to STFU on technical subjects.

        Thanks for saving me a lot of typing. It would be nice if some of these clowns would learn what the carbon cycle is, and how our production of carbon dioxide overwhelms the natural cycle.

      • 0 avatar
        nikita

        A degreed Mechanical Engineer with emphasis on Chemistry is not “scientifically illiterate”. Please. I was commenting on control of language for political ends, not necessarily the merits of CO2 on the climate itself.

        We can have civil debate, but its real difficult on the internet.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I’m looking at a summary of this study from Deloitte’s website. (I’m assuming that they’re currently charging a fee for the entire study.)

    It doesn’t really say much about hybrids at all. Here are the factoids:

    – 71% of respondents agree the environment is an extremely important factor when purchasing a vehicle.

    – Gen Y respondents have positive attitudes about gasoline-powered, internal combustion vehicles (64%), hybrid vehicles (89.2%) and electric vehicles (73.8%).

    – More than half of respondents are willing to pay more for a vehicle that was either environmentally friendly or one that saves money on energy costs.

    None of that suggest that the Y generation is going to run out and buy hybrids and EVs. These data points, if taken at face value, suggests that they’ll think about it.

    Thinking about it doesn’t equate to paying money for it. While this would indicate that many of these kids don’t feel the need to make in-your-face anti-green purchase choices, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they’re all going to buy Pruises, either.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      Agreed. This survey seems ripe for leftist politicos to leverage more taxpayer-funded subsidies for ‘green’ cars and other such drivel – wind power, solar, etc.

      I’m all for ‘free’ power from wind, sun, and water, but not when losing enterprises are propped up by the government (me).

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        This survey seems ripe for leftist politicos

        Some of you folks need to stop politicizing everything.

        The point here is that Deloitte seems to be pitching an angle to the popular media about their research that doesn’t quite match the overall tone of the report (assuming that the executive summary and data excerpts that they’ve posted on their website are accurate reflections of the tone of the report.) I am assuming that they have done this because they figure that the hybrid angle will be more interesting to the average consumer of journalism than is the stuff about in-dash electronics and Generation Y wanting car buying to be pleasant (as if the previous generation wasn’t interested in having stereos in their dashes or hoped that car buying would be unpleasant.)

        Ultimately, Deloitte wants to sell data and consulting services. They build attention for their business by issuing press releases, which get turned into articles and interview requests, which create marketing for their business. It looks to me as if they’ve put a spin on their own work in order to promote it more effectively. Truthiness in action.

  • avatar
    AJ

    Back in 2005, a research company (CNW Marketing Research) released a report after they spent several years collecting data on the energy costs it took for a car from it’s design, manufacturing, usage to scrapping. For example they figured that a Jeep Wrangler (which in all fairness I own!) would cost $0.60 per mile over it’s lifetime, and a Toyota Corolla was $0.73, whereas a Prius was $3.25. Of course that was seven years ago, and who are they to question the greener then thou Prius?! But maybe rather then all those fancy electronics and batteries, get cars back to their basics? My Jeep is not my daily driver actually, as it’s more of a weekend toy. I do have a basic ’09 Civic, which I’m curious what it’s energy costs are per mile over it’s lifetime vs. an ’09 Prius? My Civic offers a decent 34 mpg. It does it’s the job as it gets me safety to and from work, keeps me a productive member of society, and I only have to fill it with gas every two weeks.

    Anyway, one thing of interest that CNW wrote was something I recall reading basically the same thing first in Motor Trend, “If the consumer lives in the Los Angeles Basin, reducing smog and contending with some of the country’s highest fuel costs make a hybrid a solid and logical vehicle choice. What consumers need to know, however, is that the LA Basin and the Los Angelino’s wallet might benefit, the energy demands and pollution are exported somewhere else –either to the country of manufacture or to the states where the eventual vehicle will be disposed through recycling or scrap.”

    If what they say is at all still true, or even somewhat true with today’s Hybrids, maybe we should hope that Generation Y is good enough with buying a basic gas burning Corolla, Civic or even a Wrangler? After all, a cars environmental impact should not only be how much gas it burns. I think I’ll put a bumper sticker on that says “My Jeep is greener then a Prius”. (lol)

    Here is the 2005 report, btw:
    http://cnwmr.com/nss-folder/automotiveenergy/DUST%20PDF%20VERSION.pdf

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Thanks for that. That one is moving toward the top of my list of one of the worst bits of “research” that I’ve seen in a long time.

      It’s riddled with flaws, but one of the most basic ones is that it presumes that a Prius has about half the useful life of a Wrangler, while full-sized SUVs last far longer than average. According to this, the average Prius is projected to last for 109,000 miles, versus about 179,000 miles for the average car and 207,000 miles for a Wrangler. If you believed these guys, full-size domestic SUVs are all going to average at least 265,000 miles, while a Toyota Corolla comes in below average at 169,000.

      There’s no way that anything this bad could ever make it past peer review. The conclusions aren’t supported, nor does it cite any credible third-party sources to create a basis for the numbers. Fortunately, it is thick, so anyone who owns a bird won’t be lacking for a cage liner with this one.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        Yup, that “research” has been thoroughly debunked all over the place. Frankly, you’d have to be an idiot if you think that the real cost per mile of a Prius from “dust to dust” is $3.25 while a Wrangler is only $0.70. I mean, really, you think the overall cost of a Prius, environmental impact and everything, is nearly 5x that of a Wrangler? Check out the following link to see how little of the nickel mined at Sudbury ends up in Prius batteries.
        http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/200711/mrgreen_mailbag.asp

        If you took 1% of the amount of nickel mined annually at Sudbury, you would have enough for the batteries in the first 1M Priuses built. Basically, it is on the order of the hundredths of a percent of the amount that is mined yearly that ends up in the Prius. Do you know where most of that nickel ends up? Stainless steel, alloys, and electroplating. Prius usage doesn’t show up anywhere when you pareto the data. CNW flat out lied.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        that “research” has been thoroughly debunked all over the place.

        In this case, I didn’t look for any critiques of the research. There was no need; a few minutes reading the study itself made it obvious enough.

        When analyzing data that is presented as some sort of ratio, it is wise to look at the underlying assumptions. Since this was a “per mile” assessment, it made sense to start with the mileage assumptions.

        And sure enough, those mileage assumptions were so grossly out of whack that it made it very obvious that the authors had an agenda. In this case, I would presume that they wanted to generate some hype, and decided to reach a “counterintuitive” conclusion in order to show how they aren’t like the rest of the competitors. But this is so bad that you would expect this to cost them business; this reads as if it was written by a bunch of third-rate hacks.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      And I could make up a nonsense report saying a Hummer is more efficient than a Chevy Sonic if you assume the Sonic will only run for 80000 miles lol. That report was garbage.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      That study is possibly the least credible bit of research that has ever been unleashed on humanity. I remember when it was released, and the internet forum laughter and mockery that accompanied it.

      If you want to know the relative depletion of energy and resources associated with mass-produced objects and commodities, compare the actual total cost. Nobody spent $650,000 driving a Prius 200k miles, and nobody subsidized that cost either.

  • avatar
    thehips

    i’m only writing this so hopefully some car designer reads it and can one day make my perfect car. as a 26 year old male making decent money i’ll tell you exactly what i want so you stop marketing hybrids and technology at me and my generation. in priority 1. practicality. i want a swiss army type car that can hold most of my stuff when i move to another apartment for the umpteenth time, hold my camping gear when i go fishing, and my hockey bag and stick. 2. reliability/cheap to fix/good gas mileage/cheap to insure. the least amount of time and money i have to dedicate to said car over the long haul the better. if i buy new i plan on keeping it for at least 10 years and i don’t want to break down on me all the time, and when it does i don’t want to spend a fortune on parts. 3. can take me anywhere. i want awd or 4wd with some ground clearance because i live in edmonton/aberta where it’s not unusual for it to snow in july and i like to do some mild off roading. 4. seating for 4 or 5 because i’m the only one with a car and i end up carting everyones ass everywhere. 5. classical good looking styling and not weird looking. think jeep wrangler or cherokee or porche 911 or mini cooper. not nissan juke, hyundai velostar, honda crz, or scion anything. remember i want to drive this car for 10 years plus. 6. something i can afford. i will not spend over 25 000 for a new car ever this includes freight, tax, and options. so if you want to market to my generation make either a reliable wrangler with good gas mileage, a toyata rav4 that doesn’t have the soccer mom stigma, a smaller toyota tacoma with better gas mileage, or an updated ford ranger with a decent engine, the same size, and useable back seats.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      You just described a Subaru Legacy wagon… that was made in the prior decade. Also a base prior gen Forester.

      Sad to say the ease of DIY maintenance isn’t much of a selling point anymore. If oil changes can be had for $20 most folks will simply opt for the nearest quickie lube.

      As for the maintenance schedule. No one usually reads it until they are far beyond the point of initial purchase.

    • 0 avatar
      RedStapler

      If you can deal with the so-so fuel economy a XJ Cherokee is just the ticket for you. Plenty of cargo room, relatively reliable by the mid 90s with simple and iconic 2-box styling.

      The XJ is a wonderful jack of all trades vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      You won’t spend over $25k for a car, ever? Apparently your education did not include the concept of inflation (or capitalization or punctuation). You know what cars cost 30 years ago? About half of what they do now, and you can bet prices will double in 30 years. At 26 years old it is a little early to pronounce what you will NEVER do.

      BTW, step up and buy the Rav4; if the vehicle fits your needs what do you care about the soccer mom stigma? Being a grown ass man means doing what you need to do, and that includes picking out the right car. That’s why ex navy seals can drive a minivan or weekend racers can drive a Miata; when you have self confidence your car is not your identity, it is a tool that that you use to accomplish a task. You like the Rav4, it does what you need to do, so your search should be over.

      • 0 avatar
        thehips

        I didn’t realize me not using capital letters was so offensive but I apologize if it was. As for questioning my manhood I make my money as an army medic so I’m quite comfortable with my masculinity. The point I was trying to make was the people of my generation want big space in a small package that doesn’t look gimmickey and can take us where we want to go. No one I know wants to spend the extra money to get a hybrid or a touch screen just the most car for as little money as possible. Thanks for the suggestions though, the Forrester, Rav4, and Legacy wagon were all vehicles on the top of my list, and I already own the XJ Cherokee now as a daily driver and love it.

        P.S. Yes I realize the concept of inflation and that the costs of services and goods go up over time, and I realize in 30 years I very well could be paying $50 000 for a new car. It was meant as a figure of speech for emphasis, and not to be taken literally.

  • avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    This long-haired guy in his early 20s is cutting down his carbon footprint…

    …by picking up another Volvo station wagon. A five-speed non-turbo 850 will do high 20s combined, and that’s ‘green’ enough for me. Besides, with 219k on the clock, it’s continuing to do its part ensuring that fewer new cars are needed.

    • 0 avatar
      thehips

      I love that concept. If automakers could make cars that could reliably run for 25 years, that would be a much greener solution to the problem than any hybrid technology. Maybe that’s what enviromentalists should be chasing for?

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Not picking on you in particular, but regardless of what you think about the dangers of soda bubbles, older ICEs produce an awful lot of genuinely nasty emissions that their newer brethren does not do. On save the environment terms alone, it wold be very much worth the effort to trade in the added CO2 released to produce a new Benz, if it meant getting one of those everlasting 70s diesels off the road.

      Mostly, I find the whole Rush vs. Al Gore thingy kind of funny, but if the contemporary obsession with CO2 goes so far that people start trading off CO2 emissions for real pollutants, something is really whacked.

      • 0 avatar
        thehips

        I was just wondering if the trade off of melting and recycling all that steel and rubber to create new goods and cars wouldn’t just nil that advantage? Burning paint and rubber releases more than just C02 into the air. This is not meant to be sarcastic I honestly don’t know. Hey TTAC want an article idea?

  • avatar
    Herm

    Its all moot anyways, soon all cars will be hybrids. GMs eAssist is a low cost option (about $900 if they dont load it up with crap) and it will get cheaper. Toyota’s hybrid premium is about $1500, play with http://www.trudelta.com if you dont believe me.

  • avatar

    I wonder why to lump all people born in mid 80s-2000 together and call them Gen Y. If so the majority of Gen Y are Africans, Latinos, Asians and so on – third world population. Narcissistic and oversaturated Europeans are shrinking minority and even they differ from each other. I grew up in late 60s-70s and Hippies were cool. I wore rainbow t-shirt and played on guitar. But how many of whom I knew were Hippies? Not many and many of those who took it seriously prematurely died or ended up in prison or homeless. I applied to Physics department instead, for me it was just short episode. Yeah back then environmentalism was running as high as today, see http://wap.parrette.net/GFR_WEB/GFR_ALBUMS/E_PLURIBUS_FUNK/lyricLoneliness.html. So what is difference between boomers and Gen Y? iPod instead of tape recorder? It also will be old story after 20 years or so.

    • 0 avatar
      stuntmonkey

      “So what is difference between boomers and Gen Y? iPod instead of tape recorder?”

      To be honest… not much. “There is nothing new under the sun” However, the very real difference is that it is a matter of degree. If the boomers lived through it already, and Gen-X questioned it, then Gen-Y should really have been given the tools to effect change. Instead, the cycle continues, and it’s a struggle to pass on lessons learned in one generation onto the next. But then again, its a matter of degrees.

      At the very least, Gen-Y is giving lip service to environmentalism. We that came before spent our time arguing about whether or not things like global warming was actually happening, but the Millennials at least can start on that footing. That’s not the real battle… the real battle is in being a person with a truly conservational frame of mind. It does you no good if you drive a Prius, but render your whole kitchen disposable by remodeling it every five years.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    B as in B, S as in S. My parents didn’t ‘fuck up’ the planet, greenies did.

    ANY hybrid by way of manufacturing is more polluting than a Trabant.

    The UN can pry the keys to my ICE car from my cold dead fingers. :)

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      I’m sure the UN would be more than happy to. Prying stuff from people after starving them to almost death is, after all, what they do. In that way, they are no different then any other arm of government.

  • avatar
    SilverHawk

    With budget problems looming all over the nation, many communities are suspending the planned expansion of their mass transit systems. Systems will be completed as funded, and that’s it for the immediate future. Some metro areas are converting buses to greener fuels, but with no expansion of service. In the end, Gen Y will be left with the same decisions that we have all had to make in satisfying our transportation needs. If technology allows them to make greener, cost effective choices, then some progress has truly been made. If our economic failures prevent them from affording a greener choice, then they will join the rest of us in lamenting a lost opportunity. I wish them well.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    Gen Why is too busy playing Xbox in their parents’ basement or “protesting” something they have no idea about on Wall St, or if they can’t be bothered to make the trip, stinking up their local town center with makeshift tents, crapping everywhere like pigeons, and drum circles.

    Once they put down the bongs and game controllers, wash the stench of patchouli off of themselves, shave, regret the tattoos they now have to hide under long sleeve shirts because their BCBS won’t pay for removing their mistakes, and get jobs above and beyond the food service industry, they’ll want the same kinds of cars their parents are driving. Because they’ll have families, REAL jobs, and responsibilities.

    Electric cars are fairy tales spun on college campuses and on Capitol Hill.

    Everyone says that if we buy shitty electric cars with short battery life right now, somehow the technology will make remarkable leaps and bounds and we’ll soon be able to have 300 mile charge ranges and can recharge the damn things in minutes, not hours (without damaging the batteries).

    • 0 avatar
      lw

      People forget that many of the first cars to hit the road were electric. The simple fact is that gasoline is a far superior energy source for transportation.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_car#1890s_to_1900s:_Early_history

      If folks are ticked off about the use of oil/gas to drive around with, then they need to come up with something superior to gasoline. That might be a better use of time than setting up protests with special tents to “cut down” on the volume of rapes.

      How much would you pay for a Mr. Fusion powered car?

      http://backtothefuture.wikia.com/wiki/Mr._Fusion

    • 0 avatar
      acuraandy

      @FJ60LandCruiser: I am ‘Gen Why’. I own my own house, and work for a living (hence have no time to protest). Most ‘Occupy’ protesters are of an entitlement mindset, which I PERSONALLY AM NOT :)

      Not everyone of my generation is a leech. Just sayin’…

      • 0 avatar
        FJ60LandCruiser

        You, like my wife, are members of Gen Why who are too busy doing “boring” things like working, going to school full time to get a better job one day, and paying the bills because mommy and daddy sure as hell can’t. She doesn’t want an electric car, or a “Pandora integraded mobile entertainment electro DJ booth” for her active clubbing lifestyle (she is too tired to go out most days and works nights the other days).

        She drives an ’11 Impreza wagon, BTW.

  • avatar
    ixim

    All this hand-wringing over Gen Y, Gen X, etc. I remember being personally disgusted by many of the excesses of the 60’s youth – the hair, drugs, indolence, etc. Well, look at them now – they may have caused plenty of headaches for future generations, [every generation I know of did that - their own parents - the \"Greatest Generation\" raised THEM, after all] but many of them got over their extended adolescence to live quite well. Today’s young people certainly have their work cut out for them; all they have to do is get to it.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      They never “got over their extended adolescence.” It’s just that, in an unfettered lynchmobocracy like our, the biggest lynchmob has carte blanche to “live quite well” of the other 49%.

  • avatar
    Hezz

    I know the picture heading the article is not from the study, but just damn… My parents did not screw up the planet, and yours probably didn’t either. The most disgusting stereotype about gen x or y is that we are all disrespectful to our parents, scornful of our elders, and self-important, entitled jerks.

    Some stupid ideas flare up every generation, but most people want the world to be better. This includes religious people, and atheists, liberals, conservatives, sports fans, homeless, iPhone owners, Jalopnik readers, me, Impala drivers, and Jack Baruth (presumably).

    On a more related note, if they had asked me what I want (35 years old here): stretch the Mustang wheelbase a few inches, add two doors, attach ‘Falcon’ badges. Leave drivetrain choices the same, including the manual transmission. Done!

  • avatar
    samthedog

    if the entitlement generation is shunning cars, regardless of the assertion they are spoiled, self absorbed brats that get mommy or boyfriend to cart their ass around at the drop of a text, and of all that I’m not so sure, one benny of all that is at some point they will benefit from the idea of something else as a passion. It may be dropping ecstasy tabs, or sitting in at a protest, whatever, the fact that cars are a expensive pain in the ass and keep you in financial purgatory while seducing you with “freedom”. As one who spent may years building fun rides and refining dubious “skills” like feathering the throttle of 70’s chryslers to keep them running in the november rain, or fine tuning the amount of braking force needed to stop a 60’s drum brake gm product to avoid brake lockup while anticipating which direction the combo of crappy ball joints and front drums will send your dumb ass when whacking the big pedal. If i was a gen Y today, I think i would do what i do now….look for the best transportation appliance from the used market relative to my current needs. As for a gear-head passion, i think i will wait for a cool JDM import to show up here in Canadistan to tempt me…or an old airplane, lord knows at least with an old Cessna or Piper there isn’t crappy icy roads “maintained” with salt and gravel, or F*in idiots that lurk to clobber a dent or scratch into my car at the local Walmart…

  • avatar
    lw

    There should be two threads running at every car company.

    1. Dramatic reductions in the total cost of ownership. Higher mileage, 20 year warranties, dramatic reductions in the number and complexity of the subsystems, lifetime oil, 200,000 mile tires etc…
    2. A propulsion/fuel system that makes gasoline obsolete. Something that removes the need to extract, refine and distribute the fuel. Something the car company gives you when you buy the car would work well. Maybe a small box of pellets. Drop in a pellet and drive 5000 miles.

  • avatar

    I honestly do not see much difference between boomers, X-Gens and Y-Geners (like my son). The only difference is the technology available at time. The only real significant difference was between boomers and their parents. It was kind of cultural shift in 60s. But since then there was not much change. My son (Y-gen) told me that he relates to 60s, but hates 80s and 70s. 70s look especially weird to him – all that free sex, drugs, dirty long hair and hippie stuff. I also find 70s kind of disgusting, but like 80s, fashion and new wave sound. Do not care about 60s though seem kind of childish and naive to me. All that trashing of Y-geners by boomers do not make sense. Boomer had comfortable life while kicking can down the road and ignoring need for reforms.

    I want to warn boomers that if they continue to ignore need for reforms they will be in trouble – generation Y will be young enough to figure out how to survive. My farther thought the same way until our government defaulted and he had all his savings he was counting on were wiped out by hyperinflation at the time (early 90s) when he already retired and was in his 70s.

  • avatar
    slance66

    We’ll see how this pans out. The Prius sells because it is an excellent piece of transportation. Nice room, comfortable, reliable, very high mileage. No driving enthusiasm, but many millions of buyers don’t look for that anyway. The Fusion Hybrid is likewise an excellent vehicle. Some hybrids add weight and complexity for minimal mileage gain, while increasing cost and decreasing fun. They will continue to fail.

    Recent projections about Gen Y moving to the cities has already been shown to be false. They are trending to the suburbs and exurbs instead. So cars will be very important to them. As they have kids, they will want sizable cars, just like prior generations. I think we’ll see more hybrid CUV type vehicles, pared with reasonably efficient entry luxury cars.

    A couple could have a hybrid CRV or RAV4, maybe a Camry, Prius or Fusion, plus a Mini, TSX, A-4, 328, Sonata or Optima turbo etc. That would still fit the survey results, with similar functionality to a Pilot plus V6 sedan combination.


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