Electric cars may have arrived, but the search for the perfect alternative fuel is still in progress. There are still a few major issues that keep battery powered vehicles from replacing the internal combustion engine.
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Price, looks and size… these are the few factors that used to decide what vehicle you’d park in your driveway. Looking for a cheap and small car? A Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic will do. Need something bigger, perhaps a mid-size Hyundai Sonata or an SUV. Things used to be pretty easy.
With increasingly high gas prices and an overall movement towards green, fuel efficient vehicles, fuel economy has become more important. In fact, for many price, looks and size are now completely trumped by fuel economy.
“Buyers just look at the MPG on the sticker,” says IHS Automotive Analyst Devin Lindsay commenting that car buyers are now completely mesmerized by the EPA sticker label.
Take a look at the Toyota Prius, for example. It’s not terribly big, is fairly expensive, and looks… well… weird. But that didn’t stop three million of them from being sold, all thanks to a hybrid gas-electric engine that provides excellent fuel economy.
The Prius isn’t the only option for someone looking for a fuel efficient car, however; especially those in search of a more engaging driving experience. If you want to cut down on trips to the pump, and still drive a fun, powerful, good looking car, your best bet might just be in a diesel powered vehicle. That does mean you’ll almost certainly have to drive German, although a flood of new diesel-powered vehicles are about to hit our shore.
Gas prices affect a lot of decisions in the automotive industry. Earlier reports had car buyers paying more attention to fuel economy, and the car industry looking for more fuel efficient solutions for vehicles. However, new reports are surfacing that show how higher gas prices could affect the driving habits of different age groups.
BIGinsights’ annual American Pulse survey found that the majority of participants felt that gas prices could hit $5/Gallon by memorial day. Many used the word “Ridiculous” or “Outrageous” to describe the idea of gas getting to the $5/gallon price point.
Between the different age groups surveyed, at least 73.3% said they regularly drove a car. Of those surveyed, very many of them stated that they would consider an alternate form of transportation when gas prices reached $5/gallon.
Generation Y led all other age groups in planning to adapt to the high fuel prices. Many from the young generation stated that they would take to carpooling, bicycling, walking, or public transportation.
In fact the report found that Gen Y is 13% more likely than the average population to drive less as pump prices rise.
Additionally about 30.6% of Americans pay more for gas per month, than their car payments.
The most interesting areas of the report show the contrasts between different age groups. While the younger Generation Y seems ready to adopt alternate methods of transportation, Generation X is the least likely to jump ship and change their ways, opting to keep on driving and pay the price.
Lastly, in an effort to save prices at the pump, drivers are buying groceries in bulk in order to reduce trips. Only 13.8% of those asked said they do not buy in bulk at all.
Over 4,000 Americans were surveyed, and the topics didn’t just cover driving habits. Many felt like the rising gas prices were interfering with vacation plans, and travel budgets.
When probed as to what was thought to be the most effective method to bring gas prices down; the age groups all agreed that the government should open up oil reserves for drilling. The younger generations were also heavy proponents of driving hybrids and more fuel efficient vehicles.
[Source: American Pulse]