- More Australian consumers rate fuel efficiency (84 percent) over power output (16 percent) as most important when making a new vehicle purchase
- Ford surveyed almost 10,000 consumers, with 80 percent saying that they make a concerted effort to drive efficiently on a daily basis, but revealed that further education would prove useful in helping improve their vehicle’s fuel economy
- Consumers prioritise fuel efficiency, but also place significant emphasis on power and drivability in their buying decision, which is reflected in Ford EcoBoost technology proliferating across the Ford line-up and increasing sales momentum and popularity
- Ford Australia is a key player in the development of EcoBoost engines globally, with $2 billion in R&D over the past six years and even more to launch and upgrade a record number of products, including the rapid rollout of SYNC® 3^ that helps save time and fuel
MELBOURNE, October 28, 2016 – Australians rank fuel efficiency as their top priority when purchasing a new vehicle, the results of an extensive consumer survey have revealed. Moreover, more than four out of five Australian consumers rate fuel economy over power when choosing a new car according to a survey of more than 9,500 drivers in 11 markets across Asia Pacific conducted on behalf of Ford Motor Company.
“The survey shows that consumer attitudes towards power and fuel efficiency are shifting and industry sales are supporting that notion,” said Graeme Whickman, President and CEO, Ford Australia.
Four of five Australian respondents claimed they knew of techniques which enabled how to drive their car for maximum fuel efficiency, and 80 percent said they made a concerted effort to drive efficiently on a daily basis.
Yet when asked to detail key fuel-saving driving techniques, the majority weren’t able to correctly identify a significant number of simple steps towards reducing fuel consumption.
“We conducted this survey to get a better understanding of what drivers know about fuel economy and how they choose their vehicle,” said Graeme Whickman. “The results show there is quite a lot of confusion amongst Australians’ about what constitutes fuel efficient driving.
“Understanding how to drive efficiently is very important as drivers continue to be sensitive to fuel costs, no matter what the price is at the pump,” he added. “Efficiency from both the vehicle and the driver are significant factors.”
Misconceptions: Where Australians can save money on fuel through driving smarter
Australian drivers’ misconceptions about efficient driving mean that there’s significant opportunity for them to keep their tanks fuller for longer. The survey revealed that:
- One-third (33 percent) of Australian drivers do not know that harsh acceleration and braking can have a dramatic affect on their car’s fuel consumption
Reality: Aggressive driving – like braking harshly or taking off too quickly – is the worst offender when it comes to wasting fuel.
- One in five Australian drivers believe that keeping the engine running while idling will save more fuel
Reality: Turning the engine off and restarting it again is actually more fuel-efficient, as proven by start-stop technology in key vehicles such as the Ford Focus and Ford Escape.
- 70 percent of drivers are unaware that cruise control can deliver fuel efficiency benefits
Reality: Cruise control is a secret weapon against wasting fuel. It keeps drivers from needlessly driving faster than they should, and it helps maintain a constant speed, which means you don’t waste fuel through unnecessarily braking and acceleration.
- Only one in 10 drivers use GPS to map the quickest route before heading out
Reality: It seems obvious, but the longer and further you drive the more fuel you’ll use. Ford’s SYNC® systems will plot the fastest route, and also allow you to save time and money by avoiding heavy traffic situations.
- 40 percent of respondents didn’t know that driving in hilly terrain can hamper fuel consumption
Reality: A long drive on undulating mountain roads will use more fuel than driving on flat, straight roads, with more stress on the engine and heavier acceleration and braking.
- Only around one-quarter of respondents knew cold weather (24 percent) and hot weather (27 percent) affect a vehicle’s fuel efficiency
Reality: When you put your vehicle through extreme environments, it’s going to need more fuel to run. If you need an easy comparison, just think of yourself in extreme conditions.
- Less than half (47 percent) of those surveyed knew that removing heavy items or clutter from the car to help save fuel
Reality: Excess weight in the vehicle can wreak havoc on your vehicle’s fuel consumption. Every gram costs you fuel, which in turn costs you money and will have you filling up sooner.
- One in three Australian drivers was unaware that regular maintenance and keeping tyres inflated helps save fuel
Reality: Regular maintenance maximises your car’s efficiency, while keeping your vehicle’s tyres at the recommended pressures not only reduces fuel economy, but reduce tyre wear.
Australia’s attitude to fuel efficiency
When asked the reasons for prioritising fuel efficiency, four out of five respondents from Australia cited the need to save money; nearly 13 percent higher than the Asia-Pacific regional average of 68 percent. Other top reasons included concern about high fuel prices (64 percent) and an interest in being more environmentally friendly (44 percent).
In fact, fuel efficiency is such a significant factor that nearly one-third (29 percent) of drivers who currently own a powerful car say that they regret not purchasing a more fuel-efficient vehicle.
As a result, drivers are starting to change their behavioral patterns. More than 34 percent of consumers are planning on driving less over the next 12 months, and 22 percent say that they will change their driving habits to use less fuel.
This all coincides with a general wariness about Australian fuel prices. More than three quarters (78 percent) of respondents say they don’t trust fuel prices to stay stable over the next year, which is 30 percent more than the Asia-Pacific average.
Australians trending towards more fuel-efficient vehicles
Behavioural and attitude shifts are reflected in new vehicle choices. Many consumers who are planning to buy a new car in the next year are considering more fuel-efficient vehicles:
- Thirty two percent plan to buy a vehicle with a more fuel-efficient engine than their current car
- Twenty three percent plan to downsize to a smaller vehicle
While fuel-efficiency is a priority, this desire is countered by the fact that Australian motorists place high value of performance. More than half (53 percent) of all respondents say they consider power as a major factor when buying a new car. City residents disproportionately said that they were motivated by performance when compared to suburban residents (58 percent versus 51 percent).
“Today’s consumers are more sophisticated than ever,” said Graeme Whickman. “They expect their vehicle to deliver excellent fuel economy without sacrificing the performance they need – whether it’s making a safe overtake on the highway, or negotiating a busy intersection in dense city traffic – it is important that power is available.”
Ford’s EcoBoost engines have been engineered to deliver substantial fuel savings as compared with larger displacement engines, but not at the cost of drivability and power. Since 2009, the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine has been showered with awards including being voted best in class at the 2016 International Engine of the Year Awards for the fifth year in a row.
EcoBoost technology can now be found under the bonnet of more than 20 Ford nameplates around the world – from the Fiesta to the iconic Mustang, and on racetracks around the globe with our EcoBoost-powered Le Mans 24-hour winning World Endurance Championship team.