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USA: Survey: Young drivers prefer electric cars

(MoneyWatch) Lusting for a Lamborghini or Bentley? Not if you grew up listening to the Backstreet Boys and winning trophies for, umm, everything. A new survey finds that most Gen Y consumers (a k a “Millennials”) have a high affinity for green, eco-friendly vehicles versus any other type of car.

Researchers at Deloitte found 59% of Gen Y respondents preferred alternative power. Hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles won over 57% of respondents, and pure battery electric vehicles got 2% of the vote; by contrast, vehicles with a traditional gas-only power train were preferred by only 37%.

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Contrary to stereotypes, this young generation seems to know a good value when it sees one: Fuel efficiency is the biggest appeal. In fact, close to half (49%) of Gen Y customers are willing to pay an extra $300 for each mile per gallon of improvement they can get out of a hybrid, according to Deloitte.

In a release, Craig Giffi, vice chairman and automotive practice leader at Deloitte, forecast 25% of new vehicles sold this year and 40% of cars sold in the next decade are likely to be purchased by a Gen Y’er, comprising about 80 million Americans. For many, it will be their first-ever car purchase and a chance for manufacturers to create repeat loyal customers.
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