5 Things You Should Know About Alternative-Fuel Vehicles

If you’re making an effort to go green, it’s time to consider an alternative-fuel vehicle. This one, simple change will help you lower greenhouse gas emissions, save on fuel costs, and qualify for tax breaks. Before you take the plunge and buy a brand new Tesla, do some research to help you determine the best vehicle for your lifestyle. In June of 2017, CarMax teamed with CleanTechnica to find out more about the people who drive alternative-fuel vehicles. Their survey resulted in a whopping 2,300 responses, and we’ve sifted through the data to answer these 5 frequently asked questions.

  1. Who buys alternative-fuel vehicles?

You may think that all hybrid owners are millennial hipsters with ironic t-shirts and Bernie Sanders bumper stickers. However, the reality is quite different. The average hybrid-owner is a 30-year-old male from the east coast with a bachelor’s degree. The truth may be surprising, but you can’t argue with the numbers:

  • 88% of alternative-fuel vehicle owners are more than 30-years-old.
  • 70% of the responses came from people with bachelor’s degree or higher
  • 26% of the responses came from the pacific coast

  1. Why do people buy hybrid and electric vehicles?

For many people, alternative-fuel vehicles have less to do with environmental concerns and more to do with practical considerations. More than half of the survey’s respondents report spending less than $100 per year on vehicle maintenance. In addition, more than 60% of the respondents expect to own their vehicle for more than 4 years. Last, but not least, some cities offer tax credits and HOV lane perks to drivers with hybrid or electric vehicles. Here are the details:

  • 29% purchased their vehicle to save money
  • 38% purchased their vehicle to save the environment
  • 29% purchased their vehicle for another reason
  1. How far can a person drive without recharging?

Range anxiety is one big reason why people hesitate to purchase alternative-fuel vehicles. Fortunately, these fears are (mostly) unfounded. Less than a quarter of all survey respondents have driven their vehicle until running ran out of fuel. On the other hand, nearly half of survey’s respondents have never driven more than 100 miles on a single charge. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 42% have a second non-electric vehicle for long trips
  • 14% have driven until they ran out of fuel and charge
  • 48% have never driven more than 100 miles on a single charge

  1. How do people charge their vehicles?

Charging stations are another other major hesitation among alternative-fuel vehicle owners. However, the survey results contradict this basic assumption. More than three quarters of the respondents own a vehicle with some sort of plug-in functionality. See for yourself:

  • 85% own a plug-in or all-electric vehicle
  • 84% of these people charge their vehicles in their home
  • 56% say it’s convenient to use a public charging station

  1. What are the most popular alternative-fuel vehicles?

The alternative fuel craze is really taking off. Since 2001, CarMax has sold nearly 100,000 electric and hybrid cars in the U.S. According to their survey, more than 75% of the respondents have owned their vehicle for two years or less. In addition, nearly two thirds of these vehicles were purchased by first-time alternative-fuel vehicle owners. That said, the top five most popular alternative-fuel vehicles are as follows:

We left the most important statistic for last. The CarMax survey also asked respondents whether or not they would recommend a hybrid vehicle to a friend or family member. On a scale of one to five, the average response was 4.8. I guess it’s true what they say–once you go green, you never go back.

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