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 |  Aug 24 2010, 2:38 AM

Canadians are more likely to go electric when buying a new car compared to Americans, says research from a new study.

Conducted by Synovate, a global market research firm, the company polled 1,800 new car buyers in the U.S. and 800 new car buyers in Canada. The study dealt with current petroleum based power-trains (internal combustion, diesel, flex-fuel, natural gas) and electric power trains (hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery and fuel cell).

In the study, Synovate asked respondents about what type of engine they would like in their future vehicle. They found that Americans had a stronger preference for internal combustion engines (61 percent) than Canadians (53 percent). When it came to a hybrid engine, the neighbors tied with 64 percent stating their preference.

But when it came to other electric technologies such as plug-in hybrids, Canadian respondents came out with a stronger preference (34 percent) than Americans (27 percent). The results were similar when it came to pure battery electric vehicles as well (29 percent Canadians versus 24 percent Americans).

According to Stephen Popiel, senior vice president of Synovate Motoresearch, “Canadians clearly want “greener”, more environmentally friendly vehicles. We seem to be more driven than Americans on reducing emissions while they are more concerned about fuel costs.” Reaffirming their green ways, Canadian respondents were more likely to be looking for ways to reduce their CO2 levels (28 percent) than American respondents (23 percent). The American respondents were more likely to be looking for ways to minimize fuel costs (64 percent Americans versus 58 percent Canadians).

On the subject of Flex Fuel, Canadian respondents did not see E85, the blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, as an option. The Canadians surveyed were much less familiar with E85 (16 percent familiarity in Canada versus 26 percent in the USA) and have a weaker preference for E85 (21 percent in Canada versus 31 percent in the US).