Tuesday, 10 September 2019 00:56

Environmentally friendly Australians focus on hybrid, electric vehicles as next car

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An increasing number of Australians are looking to drive a hybrid vehicle and intending on driving an electric vehicle as their next car, according to new research.

The research from Roy Morgan found that 1,383,000 Australians aged 14-plus are looking to drive a hybrid vehicle, and 537,000 Australians are intending on driving an electric vehicle, as their next car – either new or used.

Both figures represent an increase in the intentions of car drivers from a year ago, with the number of Australians looking to drive a hybrid car as their next vehicle increasing 341,000 since June 2018 – while the number of consumers intending to drive an electric vehicle has increased 125,000 since a year ago.

And Roy Morgan says the rise in popularity of environmentally friendly vehicles has significantly increased the number of consumers looking to drive hybrid and electric vehicles for their next car – with used electric vehicles increasingly favoured over new electric vehicles.

When looking specifically at those intending to purchase an electric vehicle within the next four years, Roy Morgan says it sees 92,000 Australians intending on purchasing a used electric vehicle, up from 53,000 as of June 2018 - an increase of 39,000.

But, the opposite trend was apparent for those looking to purchase a new electric vehicle within four years, with the research revealing that as of June 2019, a total of 49,000 Australians were looking to buy a new electric vehicle, compared with 57,000 as of June 2018 (a decrease of 8,000).

According to Roy Morgan this trend for used car purchasing is a really important step for electric vehicles becoming a mainstream technology – a similar trend to what was observed with new hybrid technology in the early 2000’s - and what will drive the volume of electric vehicle sales into the future.

On the attitudes held by those looking to buy electric vehicles, Roy Morgan says that 98.8% try to recycle everything they can, 92.7% believe that if we don’t act now we’ll never control our environmental problems, and 89.9% believe they are environmentalists at heart – all far higher than average Australians.

And Roy Morgan says these Australians are also far more likely than the average Australian to go out of their way to learn about new technology, to believe that a percentage of everyone’s income should go to charities, and believe it’s the government’s duty to support those who cannot find work.

“Over the past twelve months, we have seen a significant increase in the number of Australians looking to drive electric or hybrid vehicles for their next car. These increasing numbers send a clear signal to car manufacturers that Australians are interested in greener technologies,” says Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan.

“The strong growth in popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles suggests that the number of Australians driving these cars will occupy an increasing proportion of the future car industry.

“When we look at the types of electric vehicles people are intending to buy, we see used vehicles growing more strongly than new vehicles, compared with a year ago. This is despite there not yet being a large second-hand electric vehicle market available.

“This new data derived from in-depth face-to-face interviews with over 50,000 Australians as part of the Roy Morgan Single Source survey will no doubt be of interest to electric car manufacturers, who are receiving a clear message from Australian consumers that they are looking for more affordable electric vehicle options.”

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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