A What Car? and CNI (Carbon Neutral Investments) survey has found that 38% of motorists would consider offsetting the emissions of their vehicle, 10% more than would buy a hybrid or electric option.
The questionnaire also asked motorists how much they would pay to make their vehicle carbon neutral for a year, and the average answer was £47 - a massive 300% more than the actual cost of carbon offsetting a standard family car. The respondents estimated that the cost of carbon offsetting a Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratec for one year would be on average £68, when the actual cost is about £10.
Carbon offsetting schemes see people who use energy which releases carbon into the atmosphere paying for a project to reduce the equivalent emissions somewhere else. There are a variety of internet-based schemes available, allowing motorists to calculate their carbon footprint and offset it with a payment to support a green project elsewhere in the world.
CNI managing director, Edward Carlton, said: "The results show there is a great desire amongst motorists to minimise their environmental impact without reducing the range of available new vehicle choices down to just hybrid or electric cars.
"There is clearly an education job to be done by companies like CNI as the perception of costs associated with carbon neutrality is significantly higher than the reality, which means, in many cases, the motorist can reduce environmental impact, drive the vehicle they desire and not spend a fortune achieving this happy balance - which is good news all round."
Almost 1,500 members of a motoring panel took part in the survey into motoring and the environment. Almost 60% of them said that the environmental impact of a car was a strong factor when buying a car.
The motoring panel is a group of almost 3,000 UK motorists recruited by Haymarket, the publishers automotive magazines such as What Car? and Autocar.
CNI specialises in the procurement, sale and retirement of of Verified Carbon Standard credits and lends its support to a variety of environmentally friendly products around the world, including a waste heat recovery plant in China, wind farms in India and a hydroelectric power plant in Brazil. Projects such as these which provide a renewable energy source to a local area which otherwise would be using damaging fossil fuels are eligible for credits.
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