Two million electric and hybrid vehicles are expected to hit Australian roads over the next year after research showed more consumers were planning to ditch their petrol cars.

Almost two in five vehicles purchased in the next 12 months could be be low-emission cars, according to the study, with a almost equal split between battery electric and hybrid models.

The results from a Finder survey of more than 1000 Australians come after a year of record-breaking electric vehicle sales and as high petrol prices add to inflation.

The new research found 25 per cent of Australians planned to buy a car in the coming year, and 39 per cent of that group intended to choose low-emissions vehicles.

Finder innovation and insurance expert Gary Hunter said the results showed the popularity of electric vehicles would continue to grow and that attitudes towards their use had changed.

Mr Hunter said 18 per cent of people intending to buy a car in the next year would look for an electric vehicle, while 21 per cent shopped for a hybrid car. Just six per cent said they would seek a diesel model.

“The tide has finally turned,” he said.

“Australia has been slower to adopt electric vehicles than other countries, partly because of its size and partly because of social and political reasons, but this next 12 months could be the period in which we catch up with countries like the New Zealand and get closer to the UK.”

Hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles made up 17.8 per cent of new car sales in August, with 19,681 sold according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, a rise of more than 8000 compared to August 2022.

But electric and hybrid car sales were significantly higher in New Zealand, where they claimed 58 per cent of new car sales during the month.

Mr Hunter said in addition to environmental reasons for buying low-emission vehicles, many Australians were looking to the technology for financial reasons, such as saving money on maintenance and fuel costs.

“The price of petrol has become such a significant cost for car owners that people are looking for an alternative even if that means a slightly more expensive up-front cost,” he said.

“People are willing to pay that extra initial cost to (avoid) forking out for expensive petrol so often.”

The Australian Bureau of Statistics this week revealed the price of automotive fuel grew by 13.9 per cent between August 2022 and 2023, sending the cost of transport up by 7.4 per cent.

Extracted in full from: Fuel prices drive interest in electric and hybrid cars | The Canberra Times | Canberra, ACT