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[ More Green Energy Equals More Green-Car Buying ]

Would you be more likely to buy a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) such as a Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf if you knew the power which fueled it came from a more renewable source? If so, you wouldn’t be alone, according to a new study which took a look at the green car buying habits of American drivers. (See related post: “How to Compare the Cost of Electric and Gas Cars.”)

The study, conducted by researchers from Canada and the United States, found that “there was a 23% increase in demand for PEVs when buyers of conventional cars were offered a green electricity programme together with an electric vehicle.” Three different types of American car owners were surveyed, including conventional new vehicle buyers, hybrid vehicle buyers and PEV buyers. (See related post: “In Tesla-NYT Spat, Cold Realities About Electric Cars.”)

Researchers Jonn Axsen from Canada’s Simon Fraser University and Kenneth Kurani of the University of California, Davis, found that “about one-third of conventional car buyers value the combination of a PEV with green electricity,” with the proportion being much higher among previous buyers of hybrid or plug-in electric vehicles.

Global climate change seemed not to be the major factor here for those interested in cleaner energy as a power source, but rather by issues “closer to home.” These included local air pollution and saving money, noted Axsen.

“We have shown that offering a combination of a PEV with a green-energy package can increase demand for PEVs,” said Axsen in a statement. “Some car manufacturers, specifically BMW, are already offering this combination of products and we can envisage that other manufacturers may do the same as a way of stimulating demand.”

—Nino Marchetti

This post originally appeared at EarthTechling and was republished with permission.

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