An overwhelming majority of Americans — 70% — say they are concerned about global warming, according to results from a new national survey. In addition, 80% feel it is urgent for government officials to take immediate steps toward reducing America’s use of fossil fuels and harmful emissions like carbon dioxide (CO2).
The survey, commissioned by Piaggio Group Americas, was conducted by the International Communications Research firm on a representative sample of 1,000 U.S. consumers in February 2007. It produced these additional findings:
- Over 40% of respondents indicated that their concerns about global warming and climate change have escalated over the past 12 months.
- While respondents referenced numerous factors driving their environmental concerns, almost 20% specifically cited Al Gore’s Academy-Award winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," as a source for increased awareness of the issue. Unusual weather patterns, including the relatively mild winter and increased violent storms such as hurricanes, prompted over 60% of respondents to take notice of the issue as well.
Willingness to Take Action
In addition to asking participants about their level of concern regarding global climate change, the survey also queried them on personal behaviors they would be willing to change to reduce the nation’s use of fossil fuels and harmful emissions like carbon dioxide (CO2).
In fact, over a third of those surveyed said that they would be willing to consider using a motor scooter for a portion of their mileage to help improve fuel economy and curb vehicle emissions.
"It’s clear that Americans feel the urgency to act now to address the global climate issue facing our world today," said Paolo Timoni, president and CEO of Piaggio Group Americas. "As we continue discussions with people about these issues, we’re seeing that more and more are now willing to adapt their transportation behaviors in ways which can immediately benefit the environment — even as scientists, governments and other parties explore other longer term solutions. By shifting just a portion of their mileage to more fuel efficient motor scooters, people can do their part toward reducing negative impacts on their surroundings while saving money and time from their own daily commutes."
By comparing the new survey results to national fuel consumption and emissions averages, it is possible to project the impact of increased motor scooter usage in the U.S. If Americans were to utilize one of the latest eco- friendly motor scooters for just 10% of their everyday travel, they could potentially reduce national fuel consumption by 14 million gallons of gasoline per day and decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 324 million lbs. per day.
Transportation Shifts Found to Have Significant Impact
In addition to the survey examining consumers’ attitudes on global warming, Piaggio has also studied how motor scooters can alleviate traffic- and emissions-related issues in urban areas like New York City.
A traffic model created by Sam Schwartz PLLC, noted transportation engineering and planning firm, examined a central section of midtown Manhattan and found that if scooters accounted for 20% of the vehicles in that area, the following would result annually:
- A total decrease in delay of more than 4.6 million hours per year — which translates to time savings of nearly 100 working hours per person
- A reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by over 26,000 tons (52,000,000-pounds) per year
- A decrease in fuel consumption by over 2.5 million gallons per year
- A total savings for New York City of more than $122 million per year in fuel and labor productivity
Both the consumer survey and New York City traffic model are part of a national initiative known as "Vespanomics," created to raise awareness of the environmental and economic impact of alternative modes of transportation like motor scooters. For more information, please visit http://www.vespanomics.com/
About The Piaggio Group:
Established in 1884 by Rinaldo Piaggio and based in Pontedera (Pisa, Italy), the Piaggio Group is one of the world’s top manufacturers of two-wheel motor vehicles. With seven production facilities, five Research & Devel opment centers, over 6,300 employees in 50 countries and an annual production of more than 610,000 vehicles, the Piaggio Group has a consolidated leadership in the European 2-wheeler market. Piaggio ended 2006 with more than 300 dealers in the US, and an over 20 percent share of the US scooter market for Piaggio and Vespa scooters.
Its production includes scooters, motorcycles and mopeds in the 50cc to 1,200cc displacement range, marketed under the Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Derbi, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Scarabeo brands. The Piaggio Group is controlled by Immsi S.p.A., an industrial and services holding listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, and is headed by Chairman and CEO, Roberto Colaninno. As of July 11th, 2006, Piaggio & C. S.p.A.’s ordinary shares are listed on the Milan Stock Exchange (Borsa Italiana).
Across its more than 120-year history, the Group has been active in almost every area of transport including: naval fittings; the construction of locomotives and rolling stock; engines for the aeronautics sector; seaplanes; and civil and military aircraft. Since the introduction of the Vespa scooter in 1946, Piaggio has led the way in meeting the growing demand for personal mobility. A universally recognized symbol of Italian style, Vespa is an outstanding success story with more than 16 million scooters produced to date. In addition, at the end of 2004, Piaggio acquired two prestigious brands, Moto Guzzi and Aprilia.