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Accenture survey: Vehicle buyers won't sacrifice comfort, convenience just to buy green car

Here's something to think about: What prompted you to buy your current car? Was it the fuel efficiency or was it how it looked and rode?
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

Here's something to think about: What prompted you to buy your current car? Was it the fuel efficiency or was it how it looked and rode? The stereo? The safety features? Based on your responses, I'm sure it will not shock you to hear consumers are sick of being asked to give up things like comfort, entertainment options and serviceability for the sake of buyer a car that might be deemed "greener" than the norm. Or, for that matter, design. Why do so many green vehicles have to be so bizarre looking? Sorry, I digress.

This mindset was validated by a survey conducted in February by Accenture, based on an online poll of more than 1,850 consumers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the United States. Roughly 60 percent of the survey respondent said they are more likely to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle only if it is superior to gasoline-models in every way.

Here's some perspective from one of the Accenture researchers, Luca Mentuccia, who is quoted in a press release about the data:

"Our study suggests that while consumers are increasingly embracing and understanding the value of alternative vehicles, they will want models that represent a new phase in the evolution of the automobile. In-vehicle services will play a key role in this and car manufacturers have an opportunity now to ramp up their capabilities in this area to achieve competitive differentiation. Both OEMs and suppliers need to start building strategic partnerships that will lead to distinctive capabilities, particularly around safety, environmental protection and entertainment."

Fewer than half of the Accenture respondents overall were likely to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle of any sort in the next two years. A majority of them (82 percent in the United States and Canada, and 8 percent in France) are looking for a payback time for a hybrid or electric vehicle to be less than five years. Only one in four of respondents in most of the countries surveyed believed that "Everyone should own a hybrid or electric car." The notable exception was Italy, were 57 percent of those surveyed responded positively to that statement.

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