Research released today by automotive, consumer goods and industrial company Bosch, has revealed that despite 69% of drivers claiming to do their best for the environment, only 5% of motorists buying a new car would be influenced by a car’s ‘green’ credentials.
The ‘Bosch: Driving Green Britain’ study of over 1000 car buyers painted a picture of the nation’s motorists by region. Based on 2010 new car sales to date, Cornish motorists bought the cleanest cars with average CO2 emissions of 138g/km, while Oxfordshire motorists bought the most polluting cars with a figure of 168g/km. (See attached map for top 10 and bottom 10 counties.)
When asked to rank what was the main influence behind their purchase decision, 63% of motorists surveyed said that price was the most important factor, closely followed by vehicle size (at 56%). Design, style, brand and safety all rated ahead of a car’s environmental considerations.
Speaking about the research results, Peter Fouquet, President of Bosch in the UK, explained that consumer attitudes provide a real challenge for companies to make the required investment in delivering automotive technologies that have increased green credentials without making an additional cost for the motorist to bear.
The research of over 1,000 participants highlighted that almost 80% of motorists surveyed drove less than 20 miles per day, whilst 48% drove between 11 to 20 miles per day and 30% drove less than 10 miles per day.
Bosch believes that vehicles employing technologies such as start/stop can save up to 8% of fuel and CO2 emissions in city traffic, compared to a vehicle without this system. Start/stop technology is an intelligent combination of engine, brake, and battery management, which stops the engine when the vehicle is at a standstill in traffic or at a red light. By 2015, one in five cars sold is expected to be equipped with this technology.
The survey also revealed gender and age differences, pointing out how women are more likely to consider environmental aspects when choosing a car and men perceiving electric cars to be more environmentally friendly than hybrids. Interestingly, 18 to 24 year olds would be more likely to drive a hybrid car than any other age group.
Commenting further, Peter Fouquet said, “It is not surprising to see younger generations preferring the newer technologies. We are proud to have joined forces with vehicle manufacturers in a series of projects focusing on hybrid drives, combining an internal-combustion engine and an electric motor. Since 2008, we have also been working with Samsung to develop lithium-ion batteries for cars. This is vital technology for the electric vehicles of the future.”