CarMax is one of the biggest auto dealers in America. In fiscal year 2021, it found buyers for 750,000 cars. One of the main rules of any business organization is knowing the wants and needs of its customers. CarMax has therefore decided to conduct a survey to find out what people think of environmentally friendly cars.
They surveyed 1,049 current car owners about their perceptions of hybrid and electric cars. The survey focused on the general population and was not limited to CarMax customers. When the results were compiled, 56% of those polled said they intended to buy a hybrid or electric car the next time they buy a car.
Informed readers will notice that CarMax’s definition of a “green” car can be at odds with what most CleanTechnica readers think. For example, we’re not very excited about a traditional Toyota Prius, but it has about half the emissions of gargantuan SUVs and pickup trucks that Americans are head over heels in love with, so let’s be thankful for the little favors.
CarMax says: “55.9% said they would likely buy an eco-friendly car the next time they were in the market for a vehicle, compared to less than 23.9% who were unlikely to do so. . When we consider generational differences, millennials were more likely than baby boomers to say their next car purchase would be a hybrid or electric vehicle.
“Despite the obvious interest in environmentally friendly cars, the majority of people have never tested driving a hybrid or electric vehicle. For those who had taken a test drive, most had driven only a hybrid vehicle. Just over 10% had tested only an electric car, and around 9.1% of those surveyed said they had tested hybrid and electric vehicles.
It’s nothing personal
60% of people who responded to the survey said they were considering a low or zero emission car because they are “moderately” or “extremely” concerned about the carbon emissions that pollute the atmosphere. “For most people, the main benefit of hybrid and electric vehicles was not personal – it’s for the environment,” the report says.
Perception is reality and the good news is that the public perception of low emission and zero emission cars is very high. 89.5% of car owners believe that hybrid vehicles are becoming more and more popular and 91.8% believe that sustainable cars will outnumber traditional gasoline vehicles by 2050. [Caveat: your definition of “sustainable” may be at variance with the people taking the survey think that word means. To us, only battery electric cars are “sustainable” but it has to be good news that so many respondents are even thinking about sustainability.]
“Hybrid and electric vehicles seem to be the way of the future,” says CarMax. “With automakers pledging to stop producing combustion engines and President Biden’s plan to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles by improving the infrastructure available to drivers, it appears to be just that. it’s a matter of time before eco-friendly vehicles dominate America’s roads. Amen to that.
A note on the methodology
Every survey has weaknesses and CarMax recognizes that the data it has collected is based on self-reporting. “Self-reported data poses a lot of problems,” says CarMax. “These issues include, but are not limited to, the following: selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and exaggeration. As they say in the automotive industry, “Your mileage may vary. Consult the dealer for details.
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