|While fuel economy is a top concern for European buyers, hybrids are not as considered.
A new automotive study conducted by Harris Interactive in the five largest European countries shows that enhanced fuel economy is the top automotive technology vehicle owners say they are very or extremely likely to purchase for their next new vehicle (41%).
This is consistent with findings from a US-based study, also conducted by Harris Interactive, showing that nearly half (47%) of vehicle owners are very or extremely likely to purchase a new vehicle with enhanced fuel economy. However, Europeans are less likely than their US counterparts to say they are very or extremely likely to purchase a new vehicle with hybrid electric technology (20% vs. 30%).
Overall, the European market appears much less interested in hybrid technology versus what we see in the United States, especially when considering the cost that it adds to a vehicle. European consumers already enjoy access to fuel-efficient diesel-powered vehicles and are looking beyond hybrid technology.—Bryan Krulikowski, Senior Director of Automotive and Transportation Research, Harris Interactive
In fact, European respondents are significantly more likely to say they will purchase a fuel cell vehicle (28% say they are very/extremely likely) than a hybrid (20%). Italians show the greatest purchase consideration for this technology as almost half (48%) say they are very or extremely likely to next purchase a fuel cell vehicle.
The key factor, however, is affordability. While purchase consideration for fuel-efficient technologies is high among Europeans in the five major markets, the additional cost they place on a vehicle makes them less attractive.
Harris Interactive conducted this online survey in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy and Germany between February 15 and March 20, 2006 among a total of 19,382 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.