Chevy Volt plugged in close-upRecently, 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.

Will you consider a hybrid or plug-in when purchasing your next new vehicle?
A hybrid or a plug-in is the only type of vehicle I will consider401 (4.5%)
Yes, I will consider hybrid and plug-in models3312 (37.5%)
No, I will not consider hybrid or plug-in models4464 (50.6%)
I'm not sure653 (7.4%)

[Source: Consumer Reports]