Hybrids, electric vehicles, flex-fuel vehicles, and other alternative fuel models are here to stay according to a new survey conducted by Capital One Auto Finance. In the survey, 78 percent of the 802 consumers surveyed feel that alternative fuel vehicles are not merely a passing fad.
More than three-fourths of those surveyed feel that alternative fuel vehicles are here to stay, yet 96 percent of respondents don’t own an alternative fuel vehicle and 76 percent have never driven one.
Although only 4 percent of those surveyed currently drive an alternative fuel vehicle, 34 percent said it was either somewhat likely or very likely that their next vehicle would be an alternative fuel model. Looking beyond that, more than half of those who participated in the survey (54 percent) felt they would own an alternative fuel vehicle at some point in their lifetime.
Respondents were also asked about the future market saturation of alternative fuel vehicles. Just over 40 percent feel that between 25 and 50 percent of vehicles on the roads will be powered by gas alternatives by 2020, and 23 percent predict that this number will top 50 percent in the same time period.
Although consumers feel strongly about the staying power of alternative fuel vehicles, pricing on currently available models is the big impediment to ownership. What's interesting is that although the consumers said price was a big factor limiting ownership of alternative fuel vehicles, 41 percent of those surveyed were not aware of the tax credits being offered on certain models. Perhaps automakers need to do a better job of advertising the tax credits available on certain models as part of their overall alternative fuel vehicle marketing strategies.