Toronto, Ontario – Canadians are more likely to consider purchasing an electric vehicle than Americans, according to a new survey by global market research firm Synovate.

As part of an alternative fuels survey, Synovate asked new-car buyers about current petroleum-based powertrains, including internal combustion, diesel, flex-fuel and natural gas, and electric powertrains, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery and fuel cell.

Of those surveyed, 61 per cent of Americans had a stronger preference for internal combustion engines than Canadians, at 53 per cent, although both were virtually tied in their preference for a hybrid engine.

Canadians showed a stronger preference for other electric technologies such as plug-in hybrids (34 versus 27 per cent), and pure battery-electric vehicles (29 versus 24 per cent). Canadians were more likely to be looking for ways to reduce their C02 levels than American respondents, but Americans were more likely to be looking for ways to minimize fuel costs.

Canadians were also less likely to see E85 (85 per cent ethanol with 15 per cent gasoline) as an option; they were much less familiar with the fuel than Americans were, and have a weaker preference for it. Only 21 per cent of Canadians preferred the fuel, versus 31 per cent of Americans.

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