False economy? One in three spend more money for fuel efficiency

False economy? One in three spend more money for fuel efficiency

It's fair to say that, while not all of us are too worried about our cars' green credentials, good fuel economy is something we can all enjoy. As the saying goes though, nothing is ever free - as models designed to drink less fuel seem to end up costing more

According to research sponsored by Ford though, that's still not enough to put off most customers - as an impressive 35 per cent of Europeans say that they'd happily pay more for a fuel-sipping version of a particular car.
The survey – carried out across six countries including the UK, Italy and Spain – also reveals that 71 per cent of buyers do consider fuel-efficiency an important factor when choosing their car, though evidently not all are willing to pay for it.

But just when will eco-badged models become cheaper to produce? Models like Ford's Fiesta Econetic may achieve around 85mpg combined, but the added development costs can push their list prices well beyond those of their less-efficient equivalents - meaning that purchasing them for financial purposes often doesn't add up.

Barb Samardzich, vice president for product development at Ford of Europe, suggested that the survey displayed an allegiance to cars of an eco-friendly nature – regardless of the financial situation buyers may be in.

"The survey shows that even in economically difficult times there is a clear desire for vehicles that are more environmentally friendly," she said - suggesting perhaps that buyers aren't looking to save costs, but the planet.

Similarly, Andreas Ostendorf, vice president for sustainability, environment and safety at the firm's European arm, reckoned that demand for the cars was there, even if funds weren't.

"The majority of car buyers prefer fuel-efficient vehicles, even if only a minority feel they can afford to invest in one given the current economic climate," she commented.

Given that 60 per cent of the survey's respondents said they prefer to choose models from manufacturers that have "targeted a reduction in environmental impact", perhaps the results aren't surprising.
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