Electric cars not seen as better than fuel cars

March 29, 2012, 11:35 AM GMT+0

Electric cars are not seen as a better longer-term alternative to fuel cars by consumers

Recent research by YouGov, carried out amongst UK drivers, has found that just under half of drivers (46%) disagree with the statement ‘electric cars are the only real future alternative.’ This compares to just a quarter of drivers (25%) that cumulatively agree with the statement. Our online research found that the majority of drivers (69%) think electric cars offer only a limited alternative compared with 12% that disagree

Other fuel and power sources offer a better longer-term alternative

Just under half of car drivers (46%) agree that other types of fuel and power sources offer a better longer-term alternative for cars than electricity.

  • Half of all car drivers (50%) regard hydrogen as offering a better, longer-term alternative to electricity as a source of fuel for cars
  • A further 41% believe that more efficient petrol and diesel engines also offer a better longer-term alternative

Ownership of alternative fuel cars

Of those respondents who own an alternative fuel car including fully electric, hybrid and other alternative fuels, 75% also own a standard fuel (petrol or diesel) vehicle with 35% owning two or more.

Of those who own an alternative fuel car:

  • 63% own a hybrid (petrol/electric)
  • 10% own a compressed gas-fuelled car
  • 8% own a fully electric car
  • The Toyota Prius is the most widely owned alternative fuel car with 33% of alternative fuel car owners owning one.

The main reason for purchasing an alternative fuel vehicle among nearly two-thirds of owners (64%) is a belief that it would be more cost-effective than owning a standard fuel car.

An outright concern for the environment and therefore wanting to switch to an alternative fuel vehicle was the main reason for purchase for only 37% of owners.
Commenting on the findings, James McCoy, YouGov SixthSense Research Director said: “We’ve seen time and again, in similar markets such as green domestic utilities, that despite widespread concern over the environment, most consumers will only go green when it saves them money.”

Total sample size was 2,021 UK adults aged 17+ who drive or are responsible for at least one car. A subsample of owners of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) were identified (505) and these respondents were asked a separate set of questions relating to their ownership of and attitudes towards alternative fuel cars.

Learn more about the Green and Electric Cars report

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See the full details and original press release here

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