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Harris Poll: 1/3 of US Car-Buyers Willing to Pay $9K More for Alt-Fuel
Apr 28, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
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This poll confirms that millions of Americans will pay more for the environmental feature or the energy independence feature. Alternative-Fueled Vehicles Seriously Considered by One-Third of U.S. Adults Planning to Purchase or Lease a New Vehicle

Below is narrative plus a few tables. Full text, PDF, tables showing segmentations by gender, age, income, and methodology at ,http://www.harrisinteractive.com/­news/­newsletters_wsjfinance.asp
- Top reasons for considering an alternative-fueled vehicle include the effect on the environment and lower fuel costs
- Annual Percentage Rate (APR) seen as the most important financial factor when financing or leasing a new vehicle

ROCHESTER, N.Y., April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Personal Finance Poll reveals that one-third (33%) of U.S. adults who plan to purchase or lease a new vehicle say they are most likely to seriously consider an alternative-fueled vehicle for their next purchase. Most (92%) of these adults are willing to pay more for it than a traditional, gasoline-powered version of the same vehicle. Top reasons for considering an alternative-fueled vehicle include concerns for the environment and the cost of fuel. The survey also explores how consumers plan to pay for their next new vehicle, and what financial factors are most important to them when making their next new vehicle purchase.

These are some of the results of an online survey of 2,516 U.S. adults conducted by Harris Interactive(R) between April 4 and 6, 2006 for The Wall Street Journal Online's Personal Journal Edition.

Types of vehicles considered Almost three in five (58%) adults plan on purchasing a new vehicle, and while 37 percent say they are most likely to seriously consider a traditional, gas-fueled vehicle, many say they will seriously consider a hybrid (25%), ethanol-fueled (7%), or diesel-fueled (2%) vehicle. Those most likely to consider alternative-fueled vehicles include: -- Those who live in the West (38%) -- Young adults age 18 to 34 (36%) -- College graduates (44%) -- Those with an income of $75K or more (40%)

Paying more for alternative-fueled vehicles

Only eight percent of adults who will likely consider an alternative- fueled vehicle say they would not be willing to pay a penny more for a vehicle that runs on an alternative fuel over a traditional, gasoline-powered version of the same vehicle. Among those who are willing to pay extra, the average amount willing to be paid is $9,258. Some interesting differences emerge when examining the data by region, gender and income.

-- On average, those in the South ($10,786 extra) are willing to pay more for an alternative-fueled vehicle than those in the West ($9,343 extra), Midwest ($8,648 extra) or Northeast ($7,418 extra). -- Women are willing to pay $11,274 more on average for a vehicle that runs on alternative fuel, compared to men who are willing to pay $7,506 more on average. -- On average, those with incomes of $50K to $74.9K are willing to pay more than those making less or more than them for an alternative-fueled vehicle ($10,376 extra for those making $50K to $74.9K compared to $7,484 extra for those making less than $35K, $8,501 extra for those making $35K to $49.9K, and $8,594 extra for those making $75K or more).

Reasons for choosing alternative-fueled vehicles


Among those who say they would seriously consider a vehicle that runs on alternative fuel, almost half (47%) say their main reason for doing this is because it is better for the environment. Another 45 percent say their main motive is because their fuel costs will be lower. Substantially fewer adults cite the fact that they can take advantage of the Federal Clean-Fuel Tax Deduction (3%) and that they will be able to drive in High Occupancy Vehicle (H.O.V.) and carpool lanes (1%) as their most important reason. Some interesting demographic differences exist:

-- Those in the Northeast (54%) and Midwest (55%) are most likely to cite fuel costs as their main reason for considering a vehicle that runs on alternative fuel, while those in the West are most likely to cite environmental concerns (64%). -- Women are almost twice as likely as men to cite environmental concerns as their main reason for consideration (62% and 34%, respectively), while over half (52%) of men cite fuel costs for their main reason compared to 36 percent of women.

Scott Upham, Senior Vice President of the Automotive and Transportation Research Practice at Harris Interactive comments, "We've seen that more and more U.S. consumers are realizing that alternative-fueled vehicles bear a price increase over similarly equipped gasoline-based vehicles, but that many are willing to make this choice due to their own environmental beliefs or sensitivity to high fuel prices."

TABLE 2A


TYPES OF VEHICLES BEING CONSIDERED-BY REGION "Thinking about the next new vehicle that you plan to purchase/lease, which of

the following types of vehicles are you most likely to seriously consider?" Base: Adults who plan on purchasing/leasing new vehicle

Region Total Northeast Midwest South West n=1,523 n=380 n=435 n=415 n=293 % % % % %
A gasoline-fueled vehicle (e.g., vehicle that runs on gasoline only) 37 43 34 39 31 Considering Alternative Fuel Vehicle (NET) 33 33 31 31 38 A hybrid vehicle (e.g., vehicle that uses a combination of both a gas engine and electric motor) 25 27 18 25 29 An ethanol-fueled vehicle (e.g., vehicle that runs on unleaded gasoline and ethanol fuel mixture) 7 5 12 5 6 A diesel-fueled vehicle (e.g., vehicle that runs on diesel fuel only) 2 2 1 2 2 Other 1 •4 1 •Undecided 29 23 32 28 31

  • Less than 0.5%.
  • Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.


    TABLE 3A
    EXTRA AMOUNT ONE WOULD PAY FOR ALTERNATIVE-FUELED VEHICLE-BY REGION
    "What is the highest extra dollar amount you would be willing to pay for a
    vehicle that runs on an alternative fuel over a traditional gasoline powered
    version of the same vehicle? Please enter the amount to the nearest
    whole dollar."
    Base: Adults considering an alternative fuel vehicle

    Region Total Northeast Midwest South West n=580 n=148 n=167 n=146 n=119 % % % % %
    $0 8 4 9 5 12
    $1-$1,000 27 25 32 31 19
    $1001-$2,000 13 16 13 15 9
    $2001-$5,000 19 30 16 13 22
    $5001-$20,000 17 13 18 12 24
    $20,001 or more 16 12 12 23 13 Mean (excluding 0) $9,258 $7,418 $8,648 $10,786 $9,343

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

    TABLE 4A
    REASON TO CHOOSE VEHICLE WITH ALTERNATE FUEL-BY REGION
    "Please select from the list below the most important reason why you would seriously consider a vehicle that runs on alternative fuel."

    Base: Adults considering an alternative fuel vehicle

    Region Total Northeast Midwest South West n=580 n=148 n=167 n=146 n=119 % % % % %
    It is better for the environment 47 40 36 44 64 My fuel costs will be lower 45 54 55 45 28 I can take advantage of the Federal Clean-Fuel Tax Deduction 3 3 2 5 2 I will be able to drive in High Occupancy Vehicle (H.O.V.) and carpool lanes 1 3 -- •1 I like to keep up with the latest trends

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