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Half of motorists interested in going electric

Nearly half of motorists are interesting in buying an electric car, according to a new international survey.

Continental surveyed 8,000 drivers across eight global markets with 36% willing to buy a car with hybrid drive and 45.8% interested in an electric car.

The survey focused on the motorists' current state of knowledge and opinions of hybrid drive systems, their driving styles and their views on battery-powered cars.

Nearly half (45%) of all motorists reported that increasing fuel prices forced them to change their driving behavior to lower their fuel consumption. At 62.6%, the Japanese have changed their driving behavior the most in response to higher diesel and gasoline prices, followed by Germans at 55.2%. However, 60% of British drivers said they hadn’t adjusted their style of driving at all.

Britain was at the bottom of the pile in terms of recognition of the types of alternative power available with cars, with just 3.9% aware of hybrid drive systems. The Japanese came out on top with 46.9% aware of hybrid drive technology.

A total of 36% of respondents are “definitely interested” and “very likely” to purchase a vehicle with hybrid drive.

A majority of motorists said they would be interested if their government provided tax incentives for the purchase of hybrid vehicles. Almost 70% of British drivers surveyed said they would be further convinced to buy a hybrid vehicle if tax incentives were introduced.

An average of 50.8% of motorists are not prepared to pay more for a hybrid vehicle. The other half could envision investing up to £2,204 in a more environmentally friendly vehicle.

The study also shows that attractive purchase costs are the strongest argument in favor of hybrid vehicles for 63.5% of respondents.

The environment is the second most-important factor for most Europeans. Except for a minority of respondents, Asians, Americans and British, in contrast, do not focus on this issue.

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