Car enthusiasts less likely to be concerned by climate change

YouGov
January 24, 2021, 8:43 PM UTC

Is it possible to be a car enthusiast and an environmentalist? Even with the rise of electric and hybrid vehicles, it is sometimes treated as a contradictory proposition. 

According to YouGov data, it appears that car enthusiasts are less likely to have positive attitudes towards climate change – but not much less. Just over half (56%) of Brits interested in cars agree that climate change is the biggest threat to civilisation compared to 62% of the general public. Germans appear more environmentally conscious, but there remains a slight disparity between car enthusiasts and the public in response to the same question (68% vs 72%).

In addition, two in five (40%) American motorheads consider themselves environmentalists in contrast to 47% of the population. The same can be said for Great Britain, with car enthusiasts less likely to identify as environmentalists (33% vs 39%).

The relaxed approach of car enthusiasts towards the environment may affect which companies they are likely to buy from. Americans (37%) and Brits (38%) being less likely to consider the environmental or social credentials of a company than the general public (47% and 42% respectively).

These purchasing habits also appear to influence which type of energy is considered. Roughly half of car enthusiasts from Germany (52%), Great Britain (55%) and the US (53%) claim that they don’t care about “green energy” – so long as it is cheap.

What is noticeable when comparing data sets across the three countries is that German car enthusiasts appear more active in their efforts against climate change. Some 45% (compared to 46% of the population) consider themselves environmentalists and a greater proportion (48% vs 47%) try to buy from companies that are socially and environmentally responsible.

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