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CR survey: Californians calling for cleaner cars

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Consumer Reports Survey: Californians Calling for Cleaner Cars


A new Consumer Reports survey found wide consumer support in California for state efforts to reduce vehicle emissions and increase the availability of clean cars and zero emission vehicles. Eighty-one percent of respondents agreed that the state should require all automakers to reduce significantly the emissions of greenhouse gases from new cars, light-duty trucks and SUVs.

Three fourths of California consumers – 75 percent – also said the state should require automakers to build fleets that include increasing numbers of zero emission vehicles, including electric and hydrogen fuel cells cars.

“California has taken big strides to make the next generation of clean cars available to their residents, and this survey shows that consumers in California believe these are important and necessary steps,” said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for Consumers Union, policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports. “By increasing the availability of clean cars and zero emission vehicles, consumers will have even more car choices available to them when looking to purchase a new car that will lower or eliminate their gasoline consumption.”

Additionally, 77 percent of respondents in the state said there should be state requirements of oil companies to make cleaner fuels like hydrogen or electricity available for public consumption when there are enough cars in the area that need the fuel.

The results in California are similar to sentiments across the country. In a national survey by Consumer Reports an overwhelming majority of consumers (93%) believe that fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks should be improved. The same survey found that over half (56 percent) of consumers nationwide said they were considering hybrid or electric cars for their next vehicle. If availability improves over the next 15 years, consumers are even more likely (72%) to consider them.

The surveys come as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is expected to announce important updates to the state’s Clean Cars Program, which aims to ensure that Californians have the opportunity to drive cleaner and low-polluting cars and light trucks. The updates will be open for public comments beginning in mid-December, and will be voted on in late-January of next year.

The Clean Cars Program is comprised of four different standards – Low Emission Vehicle-Smog, Low Emission Vehicle-Greenhouse Gas, Zero Emission Vehicle and Clean Fuels Outlet.

For more information on the Clean Cars Program and the California Clean Cars Campaign, which Consumers Union supports, visit www.calcleancars.org.

The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a telephone survey of a nationally representative probability sample of telephone households. 438 interviews were completed among California adult residents aged 18+. Interviewing took place over October 27- November 7, 2011.The margin of error is +/- 4.8% points at a 95% confidence level.

For a copy of the full survey, please contact David Butler or Kara Kelber at Consumers Union.


Contact: David Butler or Kara Kelber: 202-462-6262