Public opinion surveys from December 2000, August 2004, February 2007 and March 2009 posed this question:
Consider a future date when gasoline is no longer available. Which of the following do you think would be the best fuel for use in personal vehicles: electricity, ethanol, or hydrogen?
A comparison of the answers from the three different years shows a change in the public's view of future fuels. In the 2000, 2004, and 2009 surveys, electricity was chosen more often than any other fuel type. However, in 2007, ethanol was chosen by more than one-third of the respondents.
Best Fuel to Replace Gasoline When Gasoline is No Longer Available
The respondents were also given the same choices and asked which would be the worst fuel for use in personal vehicles when gasoline is no longer available. In 2009, ethanol was chosen by 44% of survey respondents as being the worst fuel to replace gasoline. In the earlier three survey years, a growing share of respondents chose electricity as the worst fuel, but that reversed with the 2009 survey. The share of respondents who responded "don't know" (or were unwilling to make a choice) declined to 14% in 2009.
Worst Fuel to Replace Gasoline When Gasoline is No Longer Available
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Source: Opinion Research Corporation for National Renewable Energy Laboratory, December 1, 2000 (N = 1,000), August 27, 2004 (N = 1,041), February 8, 2007 (N=1022), and March 2009 (N=1,000).