VW Survey Shows Clean Diesel Owners Committed To Technology

Drivers of cars using clean diesel are very committed to this technology.

This according to Volkswagen of America’s first annual Clean Diesel IQ Survey released March 28.

The survey found that clean diesel drivers have an overwhelming commitment to clean diesel vehicles and are acutely aware of its benefits, but broad understanding of clean diesel technology remains uneven among non-diesel drivers.

The survey of 1,511 U.S. gasoline, hybrid and clean diesel drivers revealed that 88 percent of clean diesel drivers believe that clean diesels are some of today’s most fuel-efficient vehicles, and that more than half of gasoline and hybrid drivers agree.

For clean diesel drivers, 53 percent listed better mileage as their top clean diesel vehicle attribute. Additionally, more than half of clean diesel drivers who responded to the survey characterize their vehicles as having strong acceleration capabilities.

“Though there is a lack of awareness among non-diesel drivers, current clean diesel owners know that their vehicles are quick, clean, efficient, and fun to drive,” said Douglas Skorupski, Manager of Technical Strategy, Volkswagen of America. “And we know that once a driver experiences a clean diesel vehicle, they become dedicated to the diesel powertrain.”

The Clean Diesel IQ measured the attitudes, opinions and beliefs about clean diesel vehicles among current gasoline, hybrid and clean diesel drivers.

Specific insights from the survey include:

  • Clean Diesel Time Warp – There is broad recognition among all drivers that diesels today are better than they were 10 years ago, but gasoline and hybrid drivers still only believe they are “somewhat” better and clean diesel drivers recognize the vast improvements. More than one-third of gasoline and hybrid drivers believe that clean diesel vehicles are noisy and smell bad. Only three percent of clean diesel drivers would describe their vehicles as smelling bad and five percent of clean diesel drivers would describe their vehicles as noisy. Clean diesel drivers understand that they can reach the break-even point between vehicle cost and fuel savings in four years on average. Though clean diesel vehicles are 20 percent more fuel efficient than gasoline cars, gasoline and hybrid drivers believe it takes clean diesel vehicles closer to five years to see the cost and fuel savings.
  • Clean Diesel Dedication – Ninety-four percent of current clean diesel drivers would consider a clean diesel vehicle for their next purchase, while only 26 percent of gasoline and hybrid drivers would consider clean diesel. All drivers surveyed recognized that that clean diesel vehicles are more durable than gasoline and hybrid vehicles.
  • Clean Diesel IQ Persona – The drivers surveyed fall into three specific personality types when it comes to their diesel knowledge: “Clean Diesel Dedicated;” “Clean Diesel Maligner;” and “Clean Diesel Curious.”

“While clean diesel vehicles are common around the world, the Clean Diesel IQ personas allow us to understand why some U.S. drivers are not fully aware of the evolution of diesel technology,” continued Skorupski. “As the market leader in clean diesel with more than 70 percent of the total passenger market in 2012, Volkswagen has been committed to making the technology accessible and will continue to educate consumers on clean diesel’s wide range of fuel economy and performance benefits.”

The “Clean Diesel Dedicated” are acutely aware of the acceleration, styling and clean aspect of clean diesel vehicles, while less than 20 percent of gasoline drivers and hybrid drivers recognize these benefits.

The “Clean Diesel Malingers” are entrenched in the diesel time warp, with one-in-five gasoline and hybrid owners classifying clean diesel vehicles as being dirty and three-in-five clean diesel owners classify these vehicles as clean.

The “Clean Diesel Curious” are beginning to understand how clean diesel has evolved but have yet to purchase a clean diesel vehicle. These individuals want to see direct fuel economy comparisons of clean diesel versus hybrids, as well as have a better understanding of emissions and environmental impact.