Majority of Australians would now consider buying a hybrid vehicle
52.2% of drivers see hybrids as a serious alternative to petrol.
Attitudes towards hybrid and electric vehicles continue to improve, with more than half of Australian drivers now reporting they would seriously consider buying a hybrid vehicle, according to Roy Morgan's Automotive Currency Report. It marks the first time a majority of those surveyed were in favour of hybrid cars, up from 48.8% over the previous year.
Interest in fully electric vehicles has also increased, with 32.6% of the 37,000 drivers surveyed also agreeing they would consider purchasing one, up 1% from last year. The combined interest in hybrid or fully electric vehicles as an alternative to petrol is now 56.1%, ahead of diesel on 45.5%.
The survey also found support for petrol-based cars may be waning. While 77.5% of vehicles in Australia currently have a petrol engine, only 63.7% of drivers reported that their next car would likely run on petrol, suggesting a potential loss of market share for petrol vehicles in the future. In contrast, 10.6% of respondents suggested their next vehicles would likely be either a hybrid or fully electric, despite those vehicles accounting for only 1% of cars currently on the road. Diesel cars also face a decline in interest, but 24.8% still reported that their next vehicle would likely run on diesel.
Norman Morris, industry communications director at Roy Morgan, believes increased innovation in alternative fuels has helped drive the interest in hybrid and electric vehicles. "Attitudes regarding petrol alternatives for vehicles have changed considerably over the last few years. Those alternatives considered more environmentally friendly than the traditional internal combustion engines, mainly hybrids and fully electric, have seen increased consideration. This is largely as a result of major car brands continuing to develop and produce new models that make alternate fuels an affordable and practical reality," he said.
"The challenge is to convert fuel consideration into vehicle sales. There are some positive signs in this research that this will occur, as evidenced by the fact that there has been a very positive level of drivers saying that their next car is most likely to be a hybrid or fully electric."