COLOGNE, Germany, Nov. 14, 2012 – A new Ford Motor Company-sponsored poll shows most Europeans remain committed to car ownership, but have growing concerns about traffic congestion, the cost of driving and the environment.*
Ford commissioned the survey conducted by “The Futures Company,” a leading consultancy, to better understand the opinions and attitudes of Europeans across a range of mobility issues – from car sharing to green driving to the future of the internal combustion engine.
The Ford survey showed the majority of people say life would be “impossible” without a car; however 76 per cent of Europeans say they are affected by stress from traffic congestion and fuel prices. The survey shows 74 per cent use public transport, 37 per cent share cars when making the same journey and 3 per cent use formal car sharing schemes.
“The survey shows that we need a public dialogue and pull in all the stakeholders to address the issues of mobility and environmental responsibility,” said Barb Samardzich, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “As the world becomes more crowded and more urbanized, we don’t want to lose the freedom of mobility, and that’s why we need to take a collaborative and integrated approach.”
Samardzich today will take part in a “Future of Transport” debate in London hosted by the Guardian newspaper alongside Sylvian Haon, secretary general Polis Network; Susan Claris, associate editor Arup; and Fabio Orecchini, professor of energy systems University of Rome and editor of La Republicca newspaper.
“A clear vision of sustainability, together with a transparent use of resources, energy vectors and related environmental impacts, can drive us to the best solution: sustainable mobility based on renewable resources and intrinsically useful to the economic development of any region,” said Orecchini.
Other key findings of the survey:
Of those surveyed, 28 per cent say they would consider buying a vehicle with an electrified powertrain; though few have first-hand experience of such vehicles (8 per cent have owned or driven a hybrid electric vehicle and 6 per cent have owned or driven a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or pure battery electric vehicle). By comparison 66 per cent of those polled have owned a petrol engine vehicle and 38 per cent have owned a diesel engine vehicle.
The number of cars on the world’s roads is projected to rise from about 1 billion today between 2 billion and 4 billion by 2050. The European Commission foresees that congestion costs in Europe will rise by 50 per cent to €200 billion per year** in the same time frame.
Led by Executive Chairman Bill Ford, Ford Motor Company has been at the forefront of the future mobility discussion. Earlier this year in Barcelona, Bill Ford outlined the company’s “Blueprint for Mobility,” a vision for how mobility issues can be addressed through collaboration among all stakeholders and the application of new technology.
Ford is collaborating with multiple partners to ensure a holistic approach in identifying and working towards a future vision of transportation. For example, experts from the Ford European Research and Advanced Engineering Europe Centre in Aachen, Germany, are leading and contributing to a number of high-profile collaborative research projects that look at delivering car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications capability, improved traffic integration and intelligent driver assistance features; all of which are key enablers in easing traffic congestion and improving safety and fuel efficiency.
“Ford’s policy has always been to look far ahead and plan to address the needs of future drivers,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford’s chief technical officer and vice president, Research and Innovation. “Our company’s vast experience in the automotive environment allows us to play a pivotal role in shaping the transport infrastructure and vehicles of tomorrow.”
In 2011, Ford Motor Company spent €4.1 billion on research and development globally, in areas including car-to-car communication, driver assistance features, materials development and manufacturing.
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* Survey carried out by The Futures Company, between July and August 2012. 6,028 people were questioned across six European countries; Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and U.K.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 172,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
Ford Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 47,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 69,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 24 manufacturing facilities (15 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and nine unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.