ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Gasoline is expected to lose market share in the coming decade with diesel poised to be the most likely beneficiary, according to Consumers and Diesel: Potential Conflict Between Fuel Economy and Cost, a new consumer study released by the Fuels Institute.
Forty-one percent of the 2,007 gas consumers surveyed said they would consider purchasing a diesel vehicle, a 10-percent increase from just one year ago.
"It is clear that forecasts support a bright future and consumer views of diesel are improving, but the future of the diesel market will rest on the ability of the auto and fuel retailing industries to educate consumer segments about the overall economic impact of diesel on their budgets," said John Eichberger, executive director of the Fuels Institute, a division of Alexandria-based NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing.
The key to advancing the diesel market is attracting female consumers who make 73 percent of all car buying decisions in the country, according to Cars.com. Progress has been made in this respect, as 32 percent of female respondents in the Fuels Institute study said they would consider purchasing a diesel vehicle, a year-over-year increase of 6 percent.
Of all the respondents who stated they would consider buying a diesel vehicle, fuel economy was cited as the top factor. Diesel vehicles reportedly offer 20 percent to 40 percent more miles per gallon than gasoline equivalents — something consumers recognize, the survey showed.
Conversely, among those who said they would not consider buying a diesel vehicle, economic considerations were cited as the top factor. More than two-thirds of those who would not buy a diesel vehicle (68 percent) cited the higher cost per gallon of diesel fuel.
The complete Consumers and Diesel: Potential Conflict Between Fuel Economy and Cost report can be downloaded at www.fuelsinstitute.org.
Founded by NACS in 2013, the Fuels Institute is a nonprofit, research-oriented think tank dedicated to evaluating market issues related to vehicles and the fuels that power them.