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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Consumers say they want to see more alternative-fueled vehicles on the road over the next decade, and they are willing to consider purchasing one themselves, according to a nationwide survey conducted by NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, in partnership with Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC.
Sixty-two percent of consumers participating in the survey said they want to see more hybrid-electric vehicles; 43 percent want more battery-electric vehicles; 34 percent want more fuel-cell vehicles; 31 percent want more natural-gas vehicles; and 30 percent want more flex-fuel vehicles.
Additionally, 74 percent indicated that they would consider buying a hybrid-electric vehicle; 62 percent would consider a flex-fuel vehicle; 58 percent would consider a fuel-cell vehicle; 58 percent would consider a battery-electric vehicle; and 52 percent would consider a natural gas-powered vehicle.
Although just 38 percent reported that they would consider buying a diesel fuel-powered vehicle over the next decade, consumer willingness to consider diesel vehicles has increased significantly over the last six months, according to NACS. In May, only 31 percent of consumers who plan to purchase a vehicle in the next two years stated that they would consider a diesel vehicle. Today, 50 percent of those consumers are likely to consider diesel.
Consumers who are open to purchasing these "green" vehicles are heavily motivated by the economic incentive, with two in three consumers saying their switch to an alternative-fuel vehicle would be driven primarily by economic enticements, not environmental concerns. Economic factors such as increased fuel efficiency or tax breaks are seen as more important than environmental factors for consumers who are considering diesel, flex-fuel, hybrid-electric, propane, fuel-cell, natural-gas and battery-electric vehicles.
"This consumer survey reinforces what we have long thought: Consumers are willing to embrace new fuels and vehicles, but it must make sense for them financially," said NACS’ Vice President of Government Relations John Eichberger. "Consumers are just as wary as fuels retailers about moving toward future fuels if they don't have financial certainty."