For the second year in a row, the Harris Interactive AutoTECHCAST Europe poll indicates that vehicle owners in five countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) have chosen enhanced fuel economy as the top automotive technology that they are very or extremely likely to purchase for their next new vehicle (39% compared to 41% last year).
Spanish adults show the highest likelihood of choosing enhanced-fuel economy as the top automotive technology that they are very or extremely likely to purchase for their next new vehicle (63%), followed by Italian and German respondents (45% and 36% respectively).
Within this European market, vehicle fuel economy remains the primary driver of consumer vehicle purchase consideration. Increasing petrol and diesel prices caused by fluctuations in market supply and political instability in major oil producing countries is a major concern to European vehicle owners.
The current volume of diesel vehicles already in the European market and their inherent higher fuel economy has a direct impact on consumers’ lack of interest in gasoline-based hybrid technologies that are increasing in popularity in the United States. Consumers are more likely to consider fuel cell-based vehicles rather than hybrid powertrains. As fuel cell technology evolves and production efficiencies drive prices to lower levels, there will be strong demand in the European market.—Scott D. Upham, Senior Vice President, Automotive Research, Harris Interactive
Nearly three out of 10 European vehicle owners (28%) indicate they are “very likely” or “extremely likely” to include fuel cell technology on their next vehicle purchase. However, consideration falls substantially (22%) once the market price is introduced.
Harris Interactive conducted this online survey in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom between September 22 and December 4, 2006 among a total of 16,842 adults aged 18 and over. Qualified respondents had to own or lease a vehicle, have a valid driver’s license, have at least one household vehicle and own a listed European model dated 1998 or newer. Figures for age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, income and region were weighted where necessary to align with population proportions. Propensity score weighting was also applied to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
(A hat-tip to Bob!)