Brits keen to go hybrid but admit they lack the knowledge

·3 min read

The majority of Brits think their next car will be a hybrid but even more admit they don't know enough to purchase one.

It's two decades since the first hybrid car hit British roads and new research reveals drivers of these more eco-friendly motors are more likely to be adopters of new technology, enjoy driving, feel more responsibility for climate change and take more pride in their cars.

However, despite 52% believing their next car will be a hybrid, 68% of petrol and diesel drivers admit to a knowledge gap, according to research commissioned by Honda.

It revealed that hybrid drivers consider themselves to be early adopters of a technology. A third (33%) say that they are likely to try new technology before friends and family, in comparison to 18% of fossil fuel drivers.

This attitude also influences whether they update other items of personal tech, with only 15% of diesel and petrol drivers likely to upgrade their mobile phones before others, in comparison to 27% of hybrid drivers.

And the contrast is consistent when it comes to vehicles too. Petrol and diesel drivers tend to favour the familiar, with 57% agreeing that purchasing a hybrid would be a 'leap in the dark'. To help people understand how their personality traits might impact when they’re most likely to buy a Hybrid vehicle, Honda have created the What Is Your Gap? quiz.

“While 68% of petrol and diesel drivers say that they do not feel they know enough to purchase a hybrid vehicle, this is unlikely to be because there is a lack of information," said Warwick Business School's Professor Ivo Vlaev.

"Rather, it is because information can be overwhelming. We are all bombarded with much more information than we can possibly consciously pay attention to.

"When we have a natural desire to know everything before making a big decision – such as with a car purchase – this is difficult to achieve and so we ‘tune out’ and instead go with an easy, familiar decision. The familiar decision in this case is another petrol or diesel car because we have purchased one of those before.

“This research helps us understand why some people who are convinced of the benefits of a hybrid make the switch, whereas others do not. Some of us are generally more open to try new things than are others; or have a strong sense of identity as someone who is knowledgeable about cars and enjoys driving.

"Those characteristics of being open to try new things and cars being part of our sense of identity are associated with making the switch to a hybrid. Indeed, most current hybrid owners (61%) say that they find joy in driving."

And Honda's Rebecca Stead added: “As we all work towards wider environmental goals, changing the way we get around will be key to reducing carbon emissions.

“It is particularly good to see that range is not an issue for hybrid drivers, which should provide reassurance to those petrol and diesel drivers who may still have a question mark over this. There are many benefits to owning a hybrid vehicle, and we’re pleased to see that people are particularly proud of their car when driving one.”