• Jun 23rd 2011 at 2:02PM
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Despite an uptick in gas prices in 2011, Americans are no more enthusiastic than they were in 2010 about buying a vehicle that runs on some sort of alternative fuel, according to Rasmussen Reports' latest national telephone survey.

The survey says that 45 percent of Americans think it's at least "somewhat likely" they will purchase an alt-fuel vehicle within the next ten years. That sounds promising until you consider that 48 percent say they are "not likely" to do so. The demand for pure electric vehicles remains low, with just 27 percent of Americans saying it's at least "somewhat likely" they'd purchase a battery-powered auto during the next decade.

A breaking down of the survey results shows that Americans under age 30 are more likely than their elders to at least consider buying an alternative fuel vehicle in the next 10 years and that wealthier individuals are more apt to purchase a vehicle that doesn't rely solely on gasoline. No surprise there.

The survey of 1,000 American was conducted on June 9 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is three percentage points with a claimed 95 percent level of confidence.


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[Source: Rasmussen Reports]
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45% Likely To Purchase Alternative Fuel Car During Next Decade

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Despite the big jump in gas prices in recent months, Americans are no more enthusiastic than they were a year ago about buying a car that runs on alternative fuel.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 45% of American Adults think it is at least somewhat likely they will purchase a car that runs on something other than gasoline in the next 10 years. Forty-eight percent (48%) say they are not likely to do so. These findings include 21% who are Very Likely to purchase an alternative fuel car during the next decade and 18% who are Not At All Likely to do so. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Sentiments have changed little from a year ago when 48% said they were likely buy this type of car and 45% said it was unlikely.

Twenty-seven percent (27%) of Americans plan to buy or lease a car in the next 12 months, a finding that's held steady for well over a year. Of that group, 44% plan to buy a new car, while 47% will opt for a used car.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Adults nationwide was conducted on June 9-10, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Adults under age 30 are more likely than their elders to consider buying an alternative fuel vehicle during the next 10 years. Those with higher incomes are more likely to consider purchasing a non-gasoline car than those who earn less.

The demand for an all-electric vehicle remains low. In January, just 27% of Adults said it was at least somewhat likely they'd purchase a car that runs on electricity only during the next decade.

Separate polling shows that high gas prices have had a significant impact on the daily lives of a plurality of Americans and that they are driving less now than they were a year ago. Most adults (72%) say it's at least somewhat likely that the price of gas will rise above $5 a gallon by July 1.

Voters have consistently said for years that it is more important for the United States to develop alternative energy sources than to reduce the amount of energy currently being consumed.

Ford, the only Big Three automaker that didn't take a government bailout, is still the favorite among Americans, although opinions of General Motors have improved. Both GM and Chrysler have repaid sizable portions of their federal government bailouts, but fewer than half of Americans now believe either automaker will fully repay taxpayers for the money they received.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it's free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      BipDBo
      • 4 Years Ago
      EVs are currently pretty rare and unexpected, but I hope that they will eventually be allowed to drive silently. An EV could emit an FM signal that could be received by a hearing aid or other warning device worn by a blind person. Why should we all listen to artificial burps or whistles for the sake of 0.5% percent of the population, many of which already use or should be using hearing aid devices?
      Spec
      • 4 Years Ago
      The real number is much much higher. The people just don't know it yet. They will realize it as they see gas prices continue going up.
        Marco Polo
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Very true, it all depends on how the survey question was phrased.
      krona2k
      • 4 Years Ago
      In ten years a majority of cars for sale are likely to be 'alt fuel' so they won't really have a choice.
      Marco Polo
      • 4 Years Ago
      "A breaking down of the survey results shows that Americans under age 30 are more likely than their elders to at least consider buying an alternative fuel vehicle in the next 10 years and that wealthier individuals are more apt to purchase a vehicle that doesn't rely solely on gasoline. No surprise there." This is an interesting and illuminating observation. On the one hand it could mean that EV's are beyond the financial reach of the average person, or it could mean that wealthier people are usually better educated, environmentally concerned, and more receptive to new technology. (or a combination of both).
      dmay
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is not surprising. 50% of american's don't make $40,000 in a year. Most americans can't afford one even if they wanted to buy one.
        Ford Future
        • 4 Years Ago
        @dmay
        You're saying most Americans can't afford a Volt. Most Americans Can Afford a Prius or Insight.
      Joeviocoe
      • 4 Years Ago
      Polls are inherently biased... ESPECIALLY phone polls. "A survey of 1,000 Americans"... who are willing to take a phone survey! That already tells me that the majority will be older, retired folks who have nothing better to do. And those folk are LESS likely to want to change old habits and try new things. Certainly not a "plug-in vehicle crowd".
      Naturenut99
      • 4 Years Ago
      I dont see that (45%) as a problem. 1. 45% of 199,000,000 drivers as of 2004 = 89,550,000 potential Alternative Vehicle Drivers. if we assume an avg. of people buying a new car every 10 years (AVG... some change at 5yr some at 20yr) 89,550,000 / 10 = 8,955,000 potential buyers yearly. I wouldnt expect this as literal jump, obviously. And 27% considering an EV would be about 5,373,000. Its still a rough est. thats sounds pretty good. If the goal was 1,000,000 and there are potentially 5,000,000. Then I'm hopeful. Especially since as time goes on and people see them, continually working and us liking them, then even more will be likely to buy one. Sorry, for this being a little rambling, and very basic estimates. My est. could be as off as the polling.. :) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/ohim/hs04/htm/dlchrt.htm
      Ford Future
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm hoping more people can see the simple Math of turning a Depreciating Asset into an Investment. Because, keep a hybrid long enough and it pays for itself. Even if you just lease over and over again hybrids, you gut your fuel expense. Plus the air is cleaner, even in your garage.
        Neevers1
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        You aren't very good at math are you? Since the lease is the low hanging fruit. It costs 330 dollars a month to lease a Prius, or 190 a month to lease a Ford Focus SFE. 140 dollars a month less, or 35 gallons of free fuel every month. So you'd be getting 1155 miles a month, or, 13, 860 miles a year for essentially free. So how is that hybrid going to pay for itself, especially considering that Toyota's highest yearly mileage allowance is 15,000 miles a year? You'd be paying through the nose if you drove it enough to make the gas work out in your favor.