In addition to hybrids and battery-powered vehicles, CR discovered that new-car buyers show a varying degree of interest in several other alternative-fuel vehicles:
- 35 percent said they would consider a flexible-fuel vehicle, one that can run on either gasoline or E85, which is a mixture of 85 percent renewable ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
- 19 percent said they would consider natural gas or propane-a fuel resource that is abundant in North America. Currently, there are very few vehicles equipped to run on natural gas and the infrastructure is limited.
- 16 percent would consider a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. This, despite that fact that only a tiny number of fuel-cell cars are being leased to customers in selected regions, and no automakers have announced imminent plans to mass produce such cars.
- Only 14 percent said they would consider a diesel-powered vehicle, despite the well-developed infrastructure and relatively broad model selection.
- Of those who would consider a diesel, more than half (57 percent) said they would use biodiesel fuel.
But it was this survey finding by CR that immediately grabbed our attention:In the end, the survey shows that consumers are willing to consider alternative power sources for their next vehicles, but they have real practical concerns.
[Source: Consumer Reports]Only 67 percent (of those surveyed) said they are considering a traditional gasoline engine in their next new-car purchase, which may reflect a growing optimism regarding the availability of competitive green cars.