Westlake Village, California – A new report by J.D. Power and Associates found that although many new-vehicle buyers may want to purchase an environmentally-friendly vehicle, only 11 per cent are “very willing” to pay more to do so.

The study, 2008 Power Auto Offline Media Report, found that in particular, new-vehicle buyers who express a strong willingness to pay for more environmentally-friendly vehicles are more likely to be female and are highly educated. The concentration of consumers willing to pay extra is highest in the western U.S. and lowest in the Midwest. The study also found that among these consumers, approximately one in 10 actually purchased a new hybrid vehicle.

“The marketing buzz in the automotive industry is all about green cars and trucks,” said Jon Osborn, research director at J.D. Power. “While most consumers immediately think of hybrids when considering an environmentally-friendly vehicle, the price premium of hybrids may be prohibitive. However, consumers don’t have to buy a hybrid vehicle to be environmentally friendly. One can still be environmentally conscious by buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle that gets good gas mileage.”

The study also found that new-vehicle buyers who say they are very willing to pay more are also more likely to purchase compact vehicles than the average new-vehicle buyer, and tend to have owned smaller vehicles previously, demonstrating a propensity to consistently choose more fuel-efficient models.

The study found that those who purchase hybrid vehicles tend to have attained much higher levels of education, report much higher household income, and are an average of 54 years old, or about four years older than the average new-vehicle buyer. Hybrid owners tend to be proud advocates of their vehicles and typically provide many more positive recommendations about their ownership experience than do other new-vehicle buyers.

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