Most Irish hybrid drivers will not buy electric vehicles

Toyota Ireland says that with the exceptional sales of hybrid vehicles announced by it earlier this year (a 140 per cent increase in 2016), it comes as no surprise to see the huge levels of customer satisfaction confirmed in a recent survey undertaken by itself.

Of course, with hybrid now accounting for 13 per cent of Toyota total sales, and no electric vehicle in their range, it has a strong vested interest in the subject.

Toyota says that in a survey it carried out online among 350 Toyota hybrid drivers, a phenomenal 97 per cent stated they would choose a hybrid again for their next vehicle. Additionally, 70 per cent of those surveyed would not consider driving a pure electric vehicle (EV’s) while 30 per cent said they may consider it.

Toyota Ireland says that many reasons were given for not choosing a pure electric vehicle including the inconvenience of having to charge it for long periods of time (44%), the limited range available with electric vehicles (41%), meaning that it often can’t be used for long journeys without stopping to charge, and lastly, a lack of understanding of the technology in an electric vehicle (16%).

It adds that respondents were asked whether, if necessary, they would change from a hybrid vehicle to a diesel engine, a plug-in Hybrid or a pure electric vehicle? The results remained in favour of Hybrid with 54 per cent choosing a plug in version, 28 per cent choosing a diesel engine and just 19 per cent opting for a pure electric vehicle.

Commenting on the results, Michael Gaynor, Marketing Director of Toyota Ireland said: “There is a misconception that hybrid drivers will automatically switch to electric vehicles, however, this research clearly shows that hybrid drivers recognise the benefits of low emissions driving that a hybrid vehicle provides (as was demonstrated in a recent study by the University of Rome) without the inconvenience of driving an electric vehicle”.

He added: “Until EV’s can travel much greater distances without having to re-charge for long periods of time, they will have limited appeal within the Irish market, especially in rural Ireland. We are not surprised by the results of the findings as we know that our customers love their hybrid vehicles”.

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