The Honda Civic Hybrid, which reached dealerships in April, is the first established mainstream vehicle to be equipped with a combination gasoline-electric power system. Americans have never been enamored with cars that have any hint of electric power; buyers have been turned off by high prices and performance limitations. Some people, however, think the new Honda could be the first hybrid that will appeal to a larger number of Americans, according to the Associated Press.
That doesn't mean Americans don't like the idea of hybrid cars. A recent survey by J.D. Power and Associates, a market research firm based in Agoura Hills, Calif., found that 60 percent of
5,200 new car buyers said they would consider buying a hybrid. If, that is, the technology were available in the car they already drive, said Thad Malesh, director of J.D. Power's alternative power technologies.
The Civic Hybrid might be the car that provides a breakthrough in hybrid car manufacturing, according to Malesh. It's larger than the initial offerings from Honda and Toyota, and the Civic is already the nation's best-selling
compact car, with more than 330,000 sold last year.