The desire for hybrid vehicles among Aussie motorists has now overtaken the desire for diesel ones, according to new research.

Roy Morgan’s Automotive Currency Report shows that 51.6 per cent of Australian drivers aged 18 and over agreed they “would seriously consider buying a hybrid vehicle”.

Three years ago, this figure was at 48.7 per cent – below consideration of diesel vehicles at 50.1 per cent.

The greatest growth over the past three years came from an interest in fully electric vehicles. This interest increased by 9.7ppts to 36.2 per cent. Consideration for electric-based vehicles (hybrid or fully electric) increased by 4.2ppts to 55.7 per cent.

Diesel and LPG have been the main alternatives to petrol until now. But both have shown declining consideration over the past three years. Diesel, with 45.5 per cent consideration, remains above fully electric, with 36.2 per cent.

But over the past two years, it has been overtaken by hybrids, which are now clearly the major alternative to petrol. Nevertheless, Roy Morgan car-buying data shows that less than one per cent of the current car market is electric or hybrid.

Roy Morgan Industry Communications Director Norman Morris said, “The attitudes surrounding petrol-alternative fuels have changed notably in the past few years.

“Those alternatives considered more environmentally friendly than traditional petrol engines have seen increased consideration. Especially as major car brands continue to invest in making those alternatives more affordable and accessible.

“There are notable demographic differences in who would seriously consider buying hybrid and electric vehicles. Wealthier consumers are more likely to seriously consider them, while diesel was more likely among middle/higher-income consumers.

“LPG was considered consistently across all income levels, with a slight consideration drop between $120,000 and $200,000 income earners.

“Vehicle purchase intention can be influenced by fuel consideration. However, this is a long-term indicator. Despite their high consideration among adult Australian drivers, both hybrid and fully electric vehicles comprise less than one per cent of the vehicle car park. The challenge will be to convert this intention to vehicle sales.”

The report is based on interviews carried out face-to-face with more than 50,000 Australians per year in their own homes. More than 37,000 drivers aged 18 and over participated.

Extracted from Convenience World