MORE car buyers are currently considering hybrid than diesel or electric vehicles (EVs) for their next purchase, according to independent research into buying behaviour commissioned by Motors.co.uk.
The research of over 1,000 in-market car buyers found 20 per cent expect to choose a hybrid when they replace their current car, compared with 19 per cent saying they would opt for diesel.
Although just four per cent of respondents in the survey currently owned hybrid vehicles, this is predicted to increase nearly four-fold in the next replacement cycle.
Petrol is still the most popular choice at 57 per cent of buyers, while electric only accounted for five per cent.
The survey, conducted by Insight Advantage, the independent research agency, polled the views of 1,003 car buyers across the UK over the course of August and will be published in the inaugural Motors.co.uk Consumer Insight Panel – Autumn 2018.
Dermot Kelleher, Motors.co.uk’s director of marketing and business intelligence, said: ‘With diesel registrations down by nearly a third in the year to date, our findings show how hybrid, rather than electric, is perceived by buyers as a viable alternative and will see the greatest level of growth when they come to replace their current cars.’
Respondents were also asked about their views on the barriers to buying an EV.
‘While our research showed the uptake for EVs would grow from the two per cent who currently run them to five per cent who expect their next car to be an EV, it also identified cost, range and an insufficient recharging infrastructure as the main limiting factors to making the switch,’ he said.
Nearly two-thirds of buyers (65 per cent) felt EVs were too expensive compared to traditional fuel types, with 63 per cent saying they would switch if they became cheaper.
When it came to range, 63 per cent said they would switch if EVs could run for over 300 miles on a single charge, while only 26 per cent felt there were sufficient charging points in the UK. However, less than one-third of buyers (29 per cent) cited the length of their daily commute as the reason that an EV would not be their next car purchase.
Kelleher added: ‘EVs are proving to be a practical alternative for some buyers but the numbers remain low and improvements in EV technology and lower prices will need to be made before they become a true mainstream choice.’