PEMCO Poll: Are hybrid vehicles a Northwest rarity?



​​SEATTLE – If you drive a hybrid vehicle in the Northwest, you might be more uncommon than you thought, according to poll results from Seattle-based PEMCO Insurance. In a recent poll, the Northwest personal-lines insurer finds less than 2 percent of Northwest drivers say they own a hybrid vehicle.
However, the poll shows that hybrids do remain a consideration for more than half of all drivers.  As many as 59 percent of drivers in Oregon and 56 percent of Washington drivers say they would consider buying a hybrid the next time they shop for a new car.
“We were surprised to learn so few people drive hybrids in the Northwest, where the ‘green’ mindset is common,” said PEMCO spokesperson Jon Osterberg. “Cost continues to be the most significant driver in consumers’ decision making, and it seems to be even more significant for Washington drivers.”
About two-thirds of Washington hybrid drivers and just half of Oregon hybrid drivers say they’re motivated by the money that hybrids help them save on gas, rather than a desire to reduce pollutants emitted by gas-powered vehicles. 
Washington drivers also are three times more likely than Oregon drivers to say that rising gas prices would motivate them to buy a hybrid, according to the poll. 
Of those who say they aren’t likely to purchase a hybrid for their next vehicle, at least one-third from either state could be swayed if hybrid vehicles cost less.  Thirty-four percent of Oregon drivers and 42 percent of Washington drivers said they would be more inclined to purchase a hybrid if the cost dropped by 5 percent.
Similarly, about a quarter of drivers from both states agree that more-lucrative tax incentives from the government would help persuade them.
Regardless of consumers’ intentions, PEMCO’s results echo national data that shows the current hybrid market represents less than 3 percent of the overall sales market, according to
“We’re interested to see how behaviors change over time and will continue to track Northwest drivers’ attitudes toward hybrids as the market evolves,” Osterberg said. 
To learn more about the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll and view a summary of the results, visit, where the public is invited to participate in an informal version of the poll to see how their own responses compare with those collected by FBK Research of Seattle in April 2011 and July 2011.
About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll
PEMCO Insurance commissioned this independent survey that asked Washington and Oregon drivers several questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 601 respondents in Washington and 600 respondents in the Portland, Ore., metro area, yields an accuracy of +/- 4.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than +/- 4.1 percent.
About PEMCO Insurance
PEMCO Insurance, established in 1949, is a Seattle-based provider of auto, home, boat, and umbrella insurance to Northwest residents. PEMCO Insurance is sold by community agents throughout the region and through PEMCO offices. For more information, visit