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While interest in alternative vehicles may be growing, consumers do not see ‘green’ as the only purchasing factor and are demanding more from automakers, according to a study conducted by the global marketing research firm Accenture.

Accenture’s study, which surveyed a total of more than 1,800 people in five different countries, showed that six out of 10 consumers are more likely to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle only when it is superior to gasoline-only models in every way.

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So, while automakers are increasingly focused on addressing the demand for greater fuel efficiency and economy, the study’s authors suggest that automakers should also address those areas which continue to influence the consumer. In short, according to the results of this study, ‘green’ is not enough by itself.

In-vehicle services which satisfy different customer needs including commerce, entertainment, safety, maintenance, communication and infomobility (i.e., navigation) will not only be key influences on consumer choice but will also play a key factor in the development of more fuel efficient vehicles.

“Our study suggests that while consumers are increasingly embracing and understanding the value of alternative vehicles they still want models that represent a new phase in the evolution of the automobile,” said Luca Mentuccia, managing director of Accenture’s Automotive group.

Mentuccia added that consumers surveyed were especially interested in safety, environmental protection and entertainment.

Our study suggests that while consumers are increasingly embracing and understanding the value of alternative vehicles they still want models that represent a new phase in the evolution of the automobile.
—Luca Mentuccia, managing director of Accenture’s Automotive group

Just 36 percent of respondents cited higher gas prices as a reason to buy a green car. Moreover, those who have driven a hybrid or electric vehicle rate fuel efficiency as being very good to excellent, but most rate the ride, performance, style and maintenance as good at best.

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Forty-two percent of the respondents said they are likely to buy a hybrid or electric auto in the next two years. (This rose to a high of 62 percent in Italy). Most of these (80 percent) are more likely to buy hybrids than all-electric vehicles.

The study was based upon market research and an online survey conducted by Accenture of 1,850 consumers in five countries: Germany, France, Italy, the United States and Canada in February 2010. The respondents ranged in age from 18 to 61 years and over, and were a near even split between male (52 percent) and female (48 percent) consumers.

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with 176,000 employees serving clients in more than 120 countries. The company generated net revenues of US $21.58 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2009. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

Survey Question

Germany % of Respondents

France % of Respondents

Italy % of Respondents

U.S./Canada % of Respondents

More likely to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle that is better than a fuel-only car in every way

74%

55%

46%

65%

Rate the fuel efficiency of a hybrid or electric car very good to excellent, but rate ride, performance, style and maintenance as good

59%

64%

45%

74%

More likely to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle in the next two years

29%

51%

62%

31%

More likely to purchase a hybrid in the next two years

67%

63%

71%

70%

More likely to buy an electric car in the next two years

17%

22%

19%

5%

Everyone should own a hybrid or electric car

21%

39%

57%

26%

Would pay nothing more for a hybrid or electric car compared to a fuel-only vehicle

45%

52%

46%

56%

Desire a payback time for a hybrid or electric car purchase to be five years or less

64%

83%

73%

82%

Assuming a hybrid or electric vehicle could run on an electric charge for 200 miles, want the driving distance between re-charging points to be every 11 to 50 miles

55%

44%

52%

20%

Want re-charging to take less than 20 minutes

72%

73%

69%

50%

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