Electric and hybrid vehicles expected to replace normal cars

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Electric and hybrid powered cars are expected to ultimately replace traditionally fuelled cars as the main mode of family transport.

A survey showed 60 percent of motorists feel alternatively-powered cars will take over from their current style of car. Of these, 23 percent of the total felt that electric cars could replace their current vehicle altogether, while 37 percent felt they would take the job of the second car in the household.

This is despite there not being any electric cars on general sale at the moment, and 57 percent of respondents unable to name any hybrid or electric vehicle beyond the Toyota Prius. The Tesla Roadster came next, with just eight percent able to name it, followed by the Honda Insight with seven percent correctly identifying it as a hybrid.

There is still a large gap between the perception of electric and hybrid cars and the number of people who would buy one. While 53 percent felt they are the future of motoring, only nine percent said they would actually buy one as their next car. On the other side, 28 percent feel that it is all just a marketing gimmick.

"The results of the survey are encouraging for the EV market and show that a large proportion of motorists can see electric or hybrid vehicles potentially replacing their main – or at least second – family vehicles, even if they are not yet willing to buy one," said Andy Carroll, managing director of Glass's, who ran the survey.

"What is crucial now is that manufacturers do more to educate consumers on the practical benefits and constraints of owning these vehicles. The Government's 2011 plug-in scheme, which will offer buyers up to £5,000 off EVs, will provide an excellent platform for doing so".