Mike Stevens | Oct 21, 2010

New research from national insurer AAMI has found that less than a third of Australian motorists (32 percent) have embraced ethanol fuel blends and biofuels at the service station, despite government and industry efforts to increase availability.

The attitude is different in the showroom however, with more than half of drivers nationally (54 percent) leaning toward better pollution ratings and fuel efficiency figures when shopping for a new car.

These figures are drawn from two surveys of 2812 and 2818 motorists around Australia. The surveys also found that 43 percent of motorists believe ethanol blends and biofuels will have a negative effect on their car - a figure that has actually grown from 28 percent in 2008.

Only 14 percent of drivers nationally say availability is the main barrier to using these petrol alternatives, down from 26 percent in 2008

AAMI spokesperson Mike Sopinski said the research, conducted as part of AAMI’s forthcoming Green Home and Motoring Index, showed many Australian motorists wanted to reduce their car’s impact on the environment, but there were still some barriers in the way.

“The use of ethanol blends and biofuels remains relatively low, despite the fact they are becoming more widely available across the country,” Mr Sopinski said.

“The most common reason for not using biofuels is that drivers think they will have a negative effect on their car. This is more than 50% higher than in 2008.”

The availability of biofuels and ethanol blends has grown considerably in recent years, with Caltex this year rolling out its Bio E-Flex fuel (also known as E85) in service stations across Australia. The VE Series II Commodore has been engineered to be capable of running on.Caltex's Bio E-Flex E85.

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