To blend or not to blend? Consumer attitudes towards mandatory use of ethanol-blended fuel in Zimbabwe
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Worldwide, the use of bioethanol is proliferating as an alternative to fossil fuels. Consistent with this trend, the Zimbabwean government mandated the blending of unleaded petrol with 10% ethanol. As the use of ethanol-blended fuel is still at the infancy stage in Zimbabwe, the objective of this study was to explore consumer attitudes towards mandatory use of ethanolblended petrol. The study employed a qualitative research design, and data were collected using semi-structured in-depth interviews from motorists who regularly use blended fuel. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse interview transcripts. The study showed that the market acceptance of blended fuel remains low in Zimbabwe. The main themes that characterised consumer attitudes towards blended fuel were cynicism, misinformation, unavailability and risk perception. Overall, the study found that the use of ethanol-blended fuel remains a contested terrain in Zimbabwe and there is a need for consumer education to correct misconceptions prevailing in the marketplace.
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