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Drivers say they'd pay extra to cut CO2 emissions

Online survey by Michigan research group generates surprising results

Published: September 21, 2013, 6:00 AM

Smoking Exhaust

According to a recent online survey conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), most drivers are willing to pay extra for vehicle technology that will reduce carbon emissions via onboard carbon capture.

They would also sacrifice some fuel economy and storage space in order to reduce the greenhouse gases from internal combustion engines, the study showed.

Those results seem to be at odds with broader-based societal attitudes apparent in both the U.S. and Canada.

But according to the UMTRI researchers, respondents were willing to pay about $100 for a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and $250 for an 80% reduction.

They also seemed willing to accept a 5% reduction in fuel economy and a 10% loss in storage space for a 20% cut in carbon emissions. Going further, the study says they would accept a 10% drop in fuel economy and a 16% loss in storage for an 80% reduction in emissions.

UMTRI did not disclose just how the study questions were phrased or what population was represented among respondents.