Strong Interest in FFVs and Hybrids

Cindy Zimmerman

Synovate A new market research study shows very strong consumer interest in flex fuel vehicles, but fuel economy is an issue with them.

The study, by global market research company Synovate, shows that 37% of US consumers would consider purchasing a Flex Fuel vehicle that runs on gasoline or E85 (85% Ethanol) the next time they are in the market to buy a car. However, more than a third of these same consumers lose interest in E85 Flex Fuel vehicles when they learn that there is a reduction in fuel economy.

This information came from Synovate’s latest semi-annual survey of consumer attitudes toward advanced propulsion and alternative fuel vehicles.

Publishers of the study say “this means that E85 will have to retain a substantially lower price per gallon over gasoline for it to have any impact on consumption.”

The survey also shows big interest by consumers in “plug-in” hybrids, once they know what they are.

Familiarity with the technology is currently low but, after hearing an explanation of a grid-connected hybrid, 49% of consumers said they would consider purchasing one, roughly the same level of consideration as standard hybrid technology.

Flex Fuel Vehicles, Research