Green car sales up

Time 8:02 am, November 7, 2008

THE economic downturn and high fuel prices are continuing to drive interest in alternative-fuel cars.

Data from BCA shows that values for ‘economy’ and alternative-fuel models continue to outperform the market.

The latter averaged 112 per cent of CAP Clean guide price in September. Compare that to 92 per cent for the average petrol or diesel fleet car.

What’s more, demand for hybrids is also increasing. Indeed, volumes of models such as the Honda Civic IMA and Toyota Prius sold by BCA have overtaken more conventional LPG models.

‘The hybrid electric-petrol models are definitely the flavour of the moment, because there are no issues over fuel availability,’ said BCA’s Tim Naylor.

‘Motorists have already seen a variety of alternative fuels heralded as the answer to global warming, and are understandably wary of making the ‘wrong’ choice in terms of support and infrastructure.’

More broadly, he added, the key issue for ‘green’, alternative fuelled cars is acceptability with motorists, because they will drive the demand in the used market.


‘It would appear demand is continuing to rise, because average values for hybrid-electric and LPG powered cars are well ahead of market expectations, with the few examples BCA handle always attracting a flurry of bidding.’

‘Last year, BCA suggested there needed to be a sea-change in public opinion before any kind of ‘alternative’ fuels became acceptable… it took the very high pump prices earlier this year, and on-going economic woes, to really kick-start the interest with private buyers.’

Key facts from BCA’s Used Car Market Report:
* 6 per cent of buyers said environmental considerations were an influencing factor in their most recent car purchase.
* 5 per cent suggest their next car will be an alternatively-fuelled car, with the vast majority preferring to buy used.
* 28 per cent said they would move to a car with a lower CO2 emission rating to cope with potential changes in VED.
* 50 per cent said they would consider buying a car that does more miles to the gallon.

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