Study: Most car shoppers believe vehicles affect global warming but don’t act on it
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Study: Most car shoppers believe vehicles affect global warming but don’t act on it

By Analytics Team | September 5, 2018

Highlights:

  • Sixty-five percent of current car shoppers believe vehicle emissions and fuel economy have an impact on global warming. Eighteen percent of respondents said they didn’t believe there was a correlation; 17 percent were unsure.

  • Yet just 35 percent of buyers said the issue of global warming had had an impact on the type, size or powertrain of the vehicle the bought. Fifty-four percent said it had never impacted their decision, 12 percent were unsure.

  • Half of consumers believe stricter fuel economy standards will save them money over time.


Full story:

Believing it is one thing. Acting on it is another.

That’s the take-away from the latest study by Autolist.com, which found that, while consumers overwhelmingly agree that vehicle emissions have an impact on global warming, many said it had never factored into their vehicle purchases.

Sixty-five percent of current car shoppers polled by Autolist said they believed vehicle emissions and fuel economy have an impact on global warming. Eighteen percent of respondents said they didn’t believe there was a correlation; 17 percent were unsure.

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While most consumers saw a connection, it hasn’t impacted in equal numbers what they do at the dealership.

Just 35 percent of buyers said environmental considerations had affected the vehicle they bought. Fifty-four percent of those polled said they had never taken into account global warming when considering a vehicle’s size, powertrain type or body style. Twelve percent were unsure.

Yet, there is some evidence that consumers are paying attention to fuel economy.

Autolist’s study found that half (50 percent) of car shoppers believed stricter fuel economy standards saved consumers money over time. Twenty-six percent of respondents said they did not believe this to be the case; the remaining 24 percent said they were unsure.

These findings were backed by an analysis by the Consumer Federation of America in August. It found that vehicles whose fuel economy jumped by more than 15 percent between 2011 and 2017 saw their sales increase dramatically more than vehicles whose fuel economy gained by less than 15 percent.

Autolist polled 1,652 current car shoppers in late August for this survey.

The study follows on the heels of a previous study by Autolist that found that fewer than a third of shoppers (29 percent) agreed with the Trump administration’s proposal to roll back fuel efficiency standards.

The earlier study also found widespread support for California’s ability to set its own emissions standards and electric vehicle mandates.