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Research conducted by Auto Trader suggests that money, not the environment, is the main driving force behind motorists' interest in eco-friendly vehicles, at least in Great Britain. The majority of UK motorists (73 percent) would consider "going green" to save money on fuel, compared to just 41 percent of drivers admitting that environmental concerns would motivate them to purchase a greener vehicle.

However, reducing emissions is important to most motorists, as 57 percent say that they consider the impact of their driving habits on the environment at least once a month. Only 23 percent claim that the environment never crosses their mind when out on the open road. Never, ever? That seems like a lot, doesn't it?

Auto Trader's research suggests that 49 percent of UK motorists would not even consider buying an electric vehicle in the near future. The major reason for this, with 45 percent of drivers in agreement, is confusion over where to recharge these types of vehicles. Of course, most battery-powered vehicles can be plugged into a conventional wall outlet, making it possible to recharge them – slowly, at least – almost anywhere.

[Source: Autotrader.co.uk | Image: stopnlook – C.C. License 2.0]
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Motorists go green to save money, not the environment

Research from AutoTrader.co.uk shows the state of the nation's attitude toward green motoring


• 73% of UK motorists would consider going green for better fuel economy, whereas 41% are motivated by environmental concerns
• 49% of UK motorists would not buy an electric car in the near future
• 45% agree that the major barrier to adoption of electric cars is knowing where to fuel the car

May 11, 2011: Research released today by AutoTrader.co.uk has found that money, not the environment, is the main driver of interest in environmentally friendly cars. The majority of UK motorists (73%) would consider going green to save money on fuel expenditure, compared to 41% of drivers motivated by environmental concerns.

However, reducing emissions is still an important objective for motorists as 57% consider the impact of their driving habits on the environment at least once a month, with 16% of these thinking about their carbon footprint every time they step into the car. Only 23% claim that the environment never crosses their mind when on the road.

Auto Trader also discovered that 49% of UK motorists would not consider buying an electric car in the near future. The major reason for this, with 45% of motorists in agreement, is confusion over where to fuel these types of vehicles. Most electric cars can be charged through a conventional power outlet, making it possible to charge either at the owner's home or office, but this would require approximately 8 – 10 hours charging for a full battery[i]. In addition, the network of higher power electric charging stations in the UK currently stands at approximately only 200 nationwide[ii].

Other factors that dissuade motorists from buying electric cars include the initial outlay costs (38%) and the car's look and feel (26%). While manufacturers are in a position to help consumers with both of these issues, there is also an opportunity for the government to subsidise the price of electric cars to achieve its ambitious Green House Gas emissions targets, with 49% of motorists claiming that a government grant would be enough to tempt them into green motoring.

"With the continued rise of fuel prices it's not surprising that motorists are turning to new alternatives to reduce their maintenance costs. In this difficult financial environment consumers are simply being practical in their approach to motoring," said Matt Thompson, Group Marketing Director, Auto Trader. "It is encouraging to see that such a high percentage of motorists are concerned about the environment and it's clearly more of a question about getting the infrastructure in place to support green motoring, rather than consumer apathy on this important issue."

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Notes to editors:

• Research conducted by Auto Trader in 2011 from a representative sample of 1,887 autotrader.co.uk users

About Auto Trader:

Visit the new website at www.autotrader.co.uk
AutoTrader.co.uk is the UK's no 1 motoring website, with over 10.8 million monthly unique users, who carry out over 135 million searches on new and used vehicles. The brand is the 7th most searched for online and is building a competitive position across all effective channels including online, mobile and magazine. Over 1 million people use Auto Trader Mobile, which is available through Autotrader.mobi and applications developed for iPhone, iPod Touch and Nokia devices.
AutoTrader.co.uk is owned by Trader Media Group, one of Europe's largest specialist multi-media groups and provider of market leading websites and their associated magazines, including Top Marques, Bike Trader, Truck & Plant Trader, Ad Trader, Motorhome and Caravan Trader, Farmers Trader – all with the largest reach in their sectors, through web visitors and magazine readership.

Trader Media Group operates in the UK, Ireland, Italy and South Africa. The Group is looking to expand on its winning formula: giving trade customers the opportunity to choose all effective channels to market; building the service and relationship with dealers and manufacturers; and strengthening its portfolio of automotive and specialist classified titles.

Trader Media Group is jointly owned by Guardian Media Group and Apax Partners.

* Experian Hitwise's most searched for brand of 2010 data (22 March 2011)