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Despite renewed concerns about the price of gas, most Americans still aren’t likely to buy an electric car in the next 10 years, according to a new survey.

According to the same Rasmussen Reports survey, the number of Americans who say investing in renewable energy resources is the best investment for America has reached its highest level since the beginning of 2010. However, while many Americans like the idea of developing clean, environmentally friendly sources of energy, most aren’t willing to pay for it.

More specifically, this Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 27% of Adults say it’s at least somewhat likely they’ll buy an electric car within the next decade. That’s down 13 points from early August 2009 when 40% felt that way. Sixty-four percent (64%) say it’s not likely they’ll purchase an electric vehicle.

These findings include just 11% who say it’s very likely they’ll purchase an electric car in the next 10 years and 29% who say it’s not at all likely.

Environmental concerns trail economic ones
Clean energy supporters note that electric cars will reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions significantly. But nearly half (49%) of Americans are more likely to buy an electric car because of high gas prices, not because it’s good for the environment. Twenty-six percent (26%) feel the environment is more of a reason to go electric, but just as many (25%) are not sure. These figures show little change from October 2008.

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Many adults are interested in electric cars until they find out how expensive they are. That’s one reason why a lot of Americans like the idea of federal tax credits for buyers of electric cars to ease the sticker shock.

Interestingly, wealthier adults are more inclined not to go electric because of high gas prices than those in lower income ranges.

The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted Jan. 20-21, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

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