• Oct 28, 2010
Recently, Consumer Reports conducted a random, nationwide survey of 1,700 vehicle owners. Questions focused on green vehicle technologies and buyer motivation. The survey aimed to uncover what motivate buyers to consider buying a green vehicle for their next car. CR is still analyzing the findings, but has released some early numbers:
  • 51 percent of those surveyed say that being green plays an important role in choosing their next car.
  • Being green ranked 11th out of the 12 factors that influence buyers. Top factors that influence buyers included quality, price, and value.
  • More than a quarter of those surveyed cited reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil as a primary motivator for considering a green vehicle.
  • 63 percent of respondents report traveling less than 40 miles a day.
  • 39 percent of those surveyed will consider a hybrid or electric vehicle for their next car purchase. Among those respondents, 60 percent lean towards a conventional hybrid and just 14 percent list a battery-powered vehicle as a possible next car.
According to the survey, buyers perceive that electric vehicles (EVs) have distinct disadvantages compared to conventional autos. Some of those surveyed are hesitant to purchase battery-powered cars due to the vehicle's inherent range limitations, but others remain concerned that EVs lack sufficient power, cargo space and passenger capacity to satisfy their needs. While the power and space issues aren't legitimate concerns with most dedicated EVs, these results suggest that buyers are unwilling to sacrifice anything that they've grown accustomed to with conventional autos as they consider moving over to electric power.

Of course, it also bears noting that 'consideration' doesn't necessarily translate to increased sales. Surveys like this one have been conducted numerous times in the past with results suggesting that a good percentage of consumers would be open to hybrid cars and trucks, but gas-electric vehicle sales in the U.S. have been mired at less than three percent of the total market since they came on the market.

Will you consider a hybrid or plug-n for your next purchase? Take our poll below and tell us how you feel.


[Source: Consumer Reports]


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  • 44 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'd consider 100% electric, but never a hybrid.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The yellow and purple Audi A2 car took around seven hours to complete the 600-kilometre (372-mile) stretch, even had the heating on.

      Driver Mirko Hannemann, the chief of DBM Energy, drove the distance at 90 km/h (55 miles per hour) on average, had the heat on and was able to whisk around a few more miles in the city. When the A2 electric finished, it still had 18% of the initial electric charge in the battery.
       
      It has a lithium-metal-polymer battery. DBM Energy, the company that built the battery and electric motors into the Audi A2, said the battery would function for 500,000 kilometres.
       
      A representative of the car said the Audi still featured all the usual creature comforts such as power steering, air-conditioning and even heated seats as well, so it was not like the car was especially made for long distance record attempts
       
      The German engineers said their car was special because the battery was not installed inside the luggage area, but under the luggage area, meaning the full interior space of the car was still available
       
      The battery, based on what DBM Energy calls the KOLIBRI AlphaPolymer Technology, comes with 97 percent efficiency and can be charged at virtually every socket. Plugged into a high-voltage direct-current source, the battery can be fully loaded within 6 minutes

      The young inventor couldn't give an exact price for his battery -- he said that was dependent on scaling effects -- but vowed it wouldn't just be more powerful, but in the end also cheaper than conventional lithium ion batteries.


       
      What's more important, the technology which made the trip possible is available today.
       
      German Economics Minister Rainer Bruederle, who subsidized the drive, said it showed electric cars are not utopian but really work.
      • 4 Years Ago
      100% of customers will consider a top of the line premium automobile as well - for a moment anyway. So I don't think this poll really represents anything at all.

      Sal Collaziano
      What Would You Rather Drive dot com
      • 4 Years Ago
      Where is...

      "I will consider an EcoBoost 3.5L"
      • 4 Years Ago
      I do all my driving for work which requires a vehicle that can fit a 4 x 8 sheet of drywall, at least width wise. I go to Home Depot, like a million other people, to pick up lumber, plywood, doors, pieces of trim 8 to 10 feet long, etc. . Just this week I took 1000 lbs of rubbish to the dump. I also often drive over 80 kms per day, often in freezing cold weather up here, like a million other people. I also need to drive sometimes 200 kms in a day. I also like to take road trips once in awhile, like most people. I also can't afford to allocate much more than 10K for vehicle, used or otherwise. All my vans have been used. So, where's the electric vehicle for me?

      That's right. It doesn't exist. And there is nothing even on the horizon that could do for me what a cheap, crappy old minivan can do.

      What we need to save fuel is not some ridiculously expensive bundle of laptop batteries mated to a lunch box. What we need is what they have in Japan - the "Kei" van and trucks with very small displacement diesel engines - about 660cc. Crappy acceleration and handling, but they do the job and get about 70 mpg.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Please bring Diesel's here.. other than VW diesels.. Combine that with the start/stop technology some vehicles will get in the near future (1-2 years).. that is sure to boost mileage. I am waiting for that combined or at least one or the other.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I relied NO. Why? Because I only will own a stick shift car. Alternatives are abound here in Boston so if I wanted a slushbox I'd just join Zipcar and take public transit and/or my bike, which I mostly do anyway.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I voted "no". Primarily because my next car will likely come from the C segment of cars and as of right now there is no hybrid or plug-in that can compete with cars like the Mazda3, Focus or Impreza. Fuel economy is a factor in my decision but it is far from the top and I still can't justify the price hike.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Electric Focus coming in 2011. (or has that changed?)

        I'm somewhat in the same camp though, as none of the vehicles I'd be considering as a next-purchase currently have hybrid or plug-in counterparts. We're a good 5+ years away from buying another vehicle though and a lot is likely to change between now and then. IF there were hybrid/plug-in version of the vehicle(s) available, then yes, I'd at least consider them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My reservations include: what's the cost of replacing the batteries down the road, the environmental concerns with all these dead batteries and what happens in a bad accident with the batteries and all.....hmmmm?
      • 4 Years Ago
      100% of those surveyed would consider removing their genitalia in the name of switching from dependence on foreign oil to a dependence on rare foreign metals that generally devestate the landscape in which they are exploited from and transported across.

      All in the name of mother earth!

      Yay!

        • 4 Years Ago
        Yep, rare earth metals that come from unstable countries or upstream emissions from fossil fuel plants are facts quickly dismissed by EV fanboys.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I will have a hard time moving to less fuel economy than my Prius' lifetime (10 years) 50 mpg.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My next family car will have to be a plug in hybird. But it will also have to be AWD and seat 7, because I need allot of utility.
      So, I am sure I will be waiting awhile for that one.....
      My personal daddy ride will always be a gas powered fun buggy, like a Fiat 500 Abarth or Caterham 7 or something.

      I have no idea what people will do if they are a single car household. It's the old practical/fun equation thing, forever a question with cars even before the hybird equation.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why does it need to seat 7? Have 5 kids? If so, best of luck!

        If it's just an occasional need you can get a plug-in 5 seater and have someone else drive for those rare occasions. No reason to carry all that mass around no matter if it's a plug in or hybrid for an occasional use.

        The Prius MPV will surely lead to a plug-in version.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Luis
        I need to seat 7 because we always haul kids around - friends of my kids, carpools, soccer games, it's nuts. Also, when family visits, it's nice to take one car to go out and about.
        It needs to be AWD because we go skiing.
        We currently have a Volvo XC90 with 3 rows of seats and AWD and it is perfect for what we do & how we live. It would be nice to have a plug-in hybird one, because that thing gets 21 on the highway - I wouldnt mind getting 30+ on the highway, that would be worth it to me to pay a premium. But the real reason I want a plug in hybird is because I want a vehicle that puts less crap out the tail pipe.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not unless it comes with a 6.4 litre Hemi and says "Jeep" on the back.
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