Environment is vital issue for EU drivers

A third of Europeans would be happy to pay extra for a more eco-friendly vehicle despite that fact that most drivers, just over 70%, have tightened their budgets due to the financial crisis, a Ford Car Company-funded survey reveals.

The poll also suggests more than 50% of respondents think global warming is the most important international issue, and almost 60% would like to have a more eco-conscious life.

Barb Samardzich, vice president product development for Ford of Europe, said that even in economically difficult times there was a clear desire for vehicles that are more environmentally friendly.

She added that Ford was committed to delivering eco-friendly technology, which is also compatible with its focus on fuel economy.

Ford ran the poll with the help of top consultants from The Futures Company in order to find out more about Europeans' views on aspects of road transport such as car pooling, eco-friendly driving and use of internal combustion engines.

The poll suggests that for over 70% fuel economy is a vital issue when buying a car, while 60% favour manufacturers striving to reduce their carbon footprint.

Ford's advances in environmentally friendly vehicles include ECOnetic Fiesta and Focus models, which are leading cars in Europe for fuel-economy, capable of 85.6 mpg and 83.1 mpg.

Its low-emission and high performance 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, last year's "International Engine of the Year", is also offered in a range of compact and larger models, such as the seven-seat Grand C-MAX.

In addition, this year sees the launch of its only car with no tailpipe emissions, the Focus Electric, which is set to be followed by hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars.

Meanwhile, the latest Ford Fiesta uses more eco-friendly engines which emit under 100g/km of CO2 than any other maker of small cars.

The Ford Eco Mode education initiative motivates drivers to be fuel-efficient by highlighting 1-5 petals on each of three flower symbols, which correspond to gear changes, speed and awareness. Ford has discovered that improved motoring techniques can achieve added fuel savings of 10% over a sustained period. 

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