New York, New York- A new U.S. study shows that there is more demand for lower-priced technologies that increase fuel economy on gasoline engines, than higher-priced engines that used alternative fuels.
The study, created by Harris Interactive, found that 21 per cent would be extremely or very likely to purchase a stop-start system, while 19 per cent would buy an “eco” drive assistant, both of which provide an estimated 10 per cent gain in fuel economy. Of those polled, 16 per cent would buy a flexible fuel engine, and 14 percent would buy a clean diesel.
However, fuel cell engines, hybrid-electric engines and plug-in engines only garnered four per cent each, while only two per cent would consider a pure electric vehicle. Ten per cent would consider a compressed natural gas (CNG) engine.
While price is certainly a factor for adoption of newer engine technologies, other barriers include the price of fuel (when applicable), the lack of infrastructure for refuelling or charging, concerns about service and repair, and with electric vehicles, how far the vehicle will go on a charge in respect to the buyer’s daily commute.
“Although there are some significant entry barriers, we believe that as consumers become more familiar with alternative fuel approaches, and gasoline costs rise, demand will grow,” said David Pulaski, vice-president of Harris Interactive automotive and transportation research. “To raise mass market appeal, automakers and government agencies must educate consumers on the benefits they offer, while reducing infrastructure issues. Education must not only address what is being done, but connect with the emotional elements of the concerns. At some point, technologies that nip away at enhanced fuel economy aren’t going to provide automakers with the gains needed to keep up with industry requirements.”