11.5.2011 Green motorists motivated by money
Research released today by Auto Trader has found that money, not the environment, is the main driver of interest in environmentally friendly cars.
The majority of UK motorists (73%) would consider going green to save money on fuel expenditure, compared to 41% of drivers motivated by environmental concerns.
However, reducing emissions is still an important objective for motorists as 57% consider the impact of their driving habits on the environment at least once a month, with 16% of these thinking about their carbon footprint every time they step into the car. Only 23% claim that the environment never crosses their mind when on the road.
Auto Trader also discovered that 49% of UK motorists would not consider buying an electric car in the near future. The major reason for this, with 45% of motorists in agreement, is confusion over where to fuel these types of vehicles. Most electric cars can be charged through a conventional power outlet, making it possible to charge either at the owner's home or office, but in most cases this would require approximately 8-10 hours charging for a full battery. However, Next Green Car's new Zap Map provides up-to-date details of every charging location in the UK, including all connection types and speeds from all charge point providers.
Other factors that dissuade motorists from buying electric cars include the initial outlay costs (38%) and the car's look and feel (26%). While manufacturers are in a position to help consumers with both of these issues, there is also an opportunity for the government to subsidise the price of electric cars to achieve its ambitious greenhouse gas emissions targets, with 49% of motorists claiming that a government grant would be enough to tempt them into green motoring.
The majority of people are not aware of the current Plug-In Car grant that subsidises the purchase of a plug-in vehicle in the UK, whereby up to £5,000 is available to aid with capital costs of qualifying vehicles. Other research studies have shown that a major issue slowing the uptake of electric and other ultra-low carbon vehicles is a lack of knowledge and understanding of the current level of technology and supporting incentives. However, low running costs are beginning to catch the attention of more and more motorists.
"With the continued rise of fuel prices it's not surprising that motorists are turning to new alternatives to reduce their maintenance costs. In this difficult financial environment consumers are simply being practical in their approach to motoring," said Matt Thompson, Group Marketing Director, Auto Trader. "It is encouraging to see that such a high percentage of motorists are concerned about the environment and it's clearly more of a question about getting the infrastructure in place to support green motoring, rather than consumer apathy on this important issue."
(Research conducted by Auto Trader in 2011 from a representative sample of 1,887 autotrader.co.uk users)
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