Hybrid vehicles could play vital role in move to full electric future, study suggests

Owners of hybrid vehicles are much more likely to consider an electric vehicle, according to new research.

A study of 1,000 Mitsubishi owners, split almost equally between those who own a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and those who own a more conventional petrol or diesel model, found 48 per cent of hybrid owners would consider a full EV.

However, that compares with just nine per cent of owners of petrol and diesel vehicles.

Despite this, 23 per cent of those in petrol and diesel cars had considered a PHEV when choosing their current car, while 34 per cent said they would consider one next.

Hybrid models use petrol or diesel engines along with a battery-powered electric motor to provide zero-emissions motoring over shorter distances, with the security of a conventional engine for longer journeys.

Of those who opted for a hybrid for their current vehicle instead of an EV, key concerns were related to a pure EV’s range and the fact that battery technology needs to improve.

Rob Lindley, managing director of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, said, “This latest research reinforces the fact that PHEVs are a gateway to an all-EV future. Consumers still harbour concerns about pure electric vehicle range, affordability and relying on the nascent nature of the charging infrastructure in the UK, all of which can be addressed by PHEVs while these issues are resolved over time.

“In the interim, PHEVs can help both the industry and government make an immediate impact on climate change and air quality, especially in urban areas, and speed up the acceptance of electrified vehicles”