American's Intent to Purchase Ethanol up 9 Percent.

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American's Intent to Purchase Ethanol up 9 Percent.

OMAHA, Neb. – According to a survey released by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC), 73 percent of American consumers would be likely to purchase ethanol enriched fuels.

This is a nine percent increase in intent since January 2005. The study also revealed that approximately 90 percent of those who know of the ethanol fuel associate it with its positive benefits. Most frequently associated were the environmentally-friendly benefits and lowered emissions compared to regular unleaded gasoline.

Consumers were grouped into categories of people that were likely to use ethanol. According to the study, the most likely category of consumers to use ethanol were "loyal environmental activists," who desire to help the environment, the U.S. economy and lessen the dependence on foreign oil.

The second most likely categories were the "patriotic" and "cost conscious motorists." The patriotic group wants to see U.S. energy independence and those who are cost conscious tend to know little about the benefits, but are interested in it because of the lower cost.

Executive director of the EPIC, Tom Slunecka said in a written statement "Our prior in-market studies have shown that a little education about ethanol moves consumers to choose it at the pump." He added, "This research points us to the type of educational outreach that needs to be made to allow the consumer to be more familiar with ethanol and its benefits."

Forty percent of all fuel sold in the U.S. is blended with ethanol, however "awareness of its availability is lower than expected," he said. Slunecka attributes this to a nationwide lack of pump signage and labeling. "The study showed that consumer awareness of ethanol's availability increases with the presence of ethanol signage at the pump," he said.

The survey was conducted in May by Luth Research. Online surveying captured the results of 1,034 motorists.