March 28, 2006

Consumers demand greater fuel efficiency

Palo Alto, California – A new study released by U.S. researcher Frost & Sullivan finds that some 80 per cent of respondents are at least slightly more concerned about the price of fuel compared to 12 months ago, while 34 per cent are considerably more worried.

A small majority of respondents indicated that they have already reduced non-essential driving and have increased the use of their most fuel-efficient vehicle. As well, about one in five has already started to use alternative forms of transportation such as carpooling, public transportation, bicycling or walking, and at least half have already purchased or will consider purchasing a more fuel-efficient gasoline or hybrid vehicle if the price of fuel continues to rise. However, the vast majority of respondents stated it is “highly unlikely” they would ever purchase a more fuel-efficient diesel vehicle.

“Although diesel-powered light vehicles have captured a substantial share of the European market, U.S. consumers have yet to embrace diesel engines,” says Veerender Kaul, Industry Manager of Frost & Sullivan. “This is likely due to their skewed image of diesels and the unfamiliarity with modern diesels in the U.S. Consumers still recall the noisy, dirty and unreliable diesel engines offered decades ago. But modern diesels are quieter, cleaner and much more reliable.”

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