Environmental impact of motoring driving decision making: research insights from TotalEnergies Marketing UK
TotalEnergies Marketing UK has revealed the findings of a new survey of UK vehicles owners, assessing how far drivers factor sustainability and environmental concerns into their purchasing decisions.
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As cost-of-living pressures mount alongside rising climate concerns, UK drivers are increasingly considering how they can improve the environmental impact of motoring alongside being more economical and getting the cost benefit of helping vehicles last longer with fewer mechanical faults.
With ICE vehicles continuing to dominate UK roads a key consideration for eco-conscious motorists is keeping vehicles as well maintained as possible to reduce fuel emissions, optimise fuel consumption, extend vehicle lifespans and mitigate the carbon cost of scrappage.
But many motorists do not know where to begin when selecting important maintenance products such as engine lubricants.
- 65% of UK car or van owners would accept paying a higher price for vehicle maintenance products if they delivered environmental or sustainability benefits.
- Drivers indicated that they would be most heavily swayed by products which extend the lifespan of an engine (46%) and improve fuel consumption (45%).
- Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) said they would be attracted by products which came in recyclable or biodegradable packaging.
- Just 11% of drivers said that they would not consider sustainability / environmental impact at all when making purchases for their vehicle.
- 31% of UK car or van owners would not feel confident when faced with selecting the right products for their car’s needs.
David Valentyne, Business Development Manager at TotalEnergies Marketing UK:
“As alternative-fuelled vehicles are steadily adopted, the clean mobility agenda hinges on also ensuring the existing fleet is operating in the most economical and eco-effective manner possible.”
“While high-quality oils are an effective way to enhance engine performance, reduce emissions, and extend the lifespan of the vehicle, our research highlights a consumer knowledge gap that may be standing in the way of their uptake. The automotive industry has an opportunity to better equip drivers with the information they need to make informed decisions, and to select vehicle fluids that are both optimised for vehicle performance as well as consumer sustainability preferences.”
“Though consumers lack some clarity around the technical details of vehicle maintenance products, it is pleasing to see that sustainability can be a differentiating factor. At the same time, it is no surprise that in the face of rising household expenses, consumers are leaning towards sustainable product features that also lower long-term maintenance costs whether through a longer engine lifespan or lower fuel consumption.”
“For consumers overwhelmed when making product choices for their vehicle, we recommend seeking out products that offer longevity: for sustainability, economic, and performance reasons, the longer you can keep the mechanics of your car operating in peak condition, the better. While some products may come with a slightly higher price point at time of purchase, the long-term savings on maintenance or replacement costs are far greater.”
Drivers can access LubAdvisor from TotalEnergies to help them make an informed decision about the most appropriate lubricant for the vehicle, and can access our range of products specifically tailored to improve fuel efficiency and engine lifespans while reducing emissions in addition to specialist fluids for Electric Vehicles.
With the sale of new petrol and diesel cars on track to be phased out by 2030 as part of the UKs 2050 carbon neutrality strategy, every stage of the automotive market supply chain is undergoing a strategic and operational transformation.
Independent garages and workshops are an integral part of the automotive industry and key players in supporting the sector’s net-zero transition.
The current ICE fleet which dominates the UK’s roads needs to be maintained to a high standard both to increase vehicle lifespans (saving on the carbon cost of scrappage) and optimise performance (reducing emissions). At the same time, workshops will be looking to future proof their businesses by investing in skills, technology and infrastructure to support the growing alternative fuel market – including EVs.
Recent research by the Motor Ombudsman showed that more than a quarter of operators are exploring refurbishment works this year (likely to include energy efficiency measures as well as installing EV charging points), while almost half plan on investing in EV training for staff.
Alongside this, all businesses, including workshops, are facing up to the challenge of both rising operating costs and new environmental standards and regulations.
Our survey data reveals how the industry can seize the opportunities that exist to boost business growth and customer loyalty through decarbonisation and the adoption of sustainable products, services and practices.
- 40% of UK drivers say that they would choose to go back to a garage / mechanic based on environmental factors – even if that meant paying a higher price for services.
- A further 15% would prefer to use a mechanic that was committed to environmental impact, costs being equal.
- Preferred environmental factors include providing recommendations for improving the environmental impact of motoring (21%) and a visible commitment by the service provider to the environment (20%).
David Valentyne, Business Development Manager at TotalEnergies Marketing UK said:
“Independent workshops are a critical contributor to the transition to ‘clean mobility’, helping to keep cars running longer and more efficiently while the market for alternative fuel vehicles matures and becomes more accessible. Customers want to do what they can to become more environmentally friendly motorists, and workshops have a key role to play in supporting that, both in terms of how they operate their businesses and the products and solutions they deploy for customers.”
“What’s clear is that ‘going green’ pays and drives customer loyalty – with many drivers happy to pay a premium if they can see the environmental benefit of using a particular service provider. While some drivers will have limited choice when it comes to car servicing, due to either lease or warranty requirements, the clear influence that environmental factors play should be a clear sign for service providers to evolve their green offering in order to meet - or exceed - consumer demand.”
“We know that transport can be a significant lever in tackling household carbon footprints, but significant change – such as through a new electric vehicle - can be prohibitively expensive. For consumers looking to create a positive incremental difference, take the time to speak to your technician. Ask about what sustainable products or alternatives are available for your own vehicles maintenance and encourage the mechanic to make their own sustainable upgrades to their operations. The automotive industry is undergoing a period of significant change and innovation, and there is increasingly green potential in every milestone and decision within the vehicle’s lifecycle.”
TotalEnergies is partnering with the motor industry – from drivers through to national servicing groups and independent workshops – to help them succeed in their journey towards a sustainable future; wherever they are today and whatever their next step is.
- Clean mobility
We have launched specialist products specifically for EVs with our Quartz EV range – which has been developed and honed through our work with FormulaE, helping electric vehicles perform at their very best, along with Quartz Xtra developed for hybrid vehicles.
- Innovative solutions
Quartz Box - our innovative, eco-efficient packaging solution -helps workshops reduce waste, improve efficiency and minimise the overall environmental and carbon footprint of essential lubricant products.
- Increasing circularity
Our partnership with Slicker provides workshop customers access to a circular economy solution to the collection and recycling of waste oil and other materials.
- Local operations
As the only integrated energy company which still manufactures lubricants in the UK, our operations provide the servicing industry with the advantage of a shorter and simpler supply chain, reducing product mileage and overall carbon cost.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,066 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th - 20th June 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).