Rising numbers of Australians are looking at electric and hybrid vehicles for their next set of wheels, and the used market has the strongest appeal

30 August, 2019

There are huge pressures on the travel and hospitality industries to develop sustainable environmental strategies, but there is not point investing in all of our futures unless we all also make lifestyle changes in our everyday life. Making increasing use of public transport is one easy option, but similarly, if we want to keep our privacy and convenience then a move to electric or hybrid personal vehicles is an option.

A latest insight from consumer, industry and market research company, Roy Morgan shows that in Australia 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, although it appears that more people would look to the used market rather acquiring a brand new car.

The new data from Roy Morgan, based on a survey derived from in-depth face-to-face interviews with 1,000 Australians each week and over 50,000 each year, shows that 1,383,000 Australians (aged 14+) 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. The number of Australians looking to drive a hybrid car as their next vehicle has increased 341,000 since Jun-2018, while the number intending to drive an electric vehicle has increased 125,000 since a year ago.

CHART - The umber of Australians intending to drive hybrid and electric vehicles as their next car is risingSource: Roy Morgan

When looking specifically at those intending to purchase an electric vehicle within the next four years, the research shows 92,000 Australians intending on purchasing a used vehicle, up from 53,000 as of Jun-2018 (an increase of 39,000). However, the opposite trend was apparent for those looking to purchase a new electric vehicle within four years. As of Jun- 2019, a total of 49,000 Australians were looking to buy a new electric vehicle, compared with 57,000 in Jun-2018 (a decrease of 8,000).

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

CHART - More Australians are looking at purchasing electric vehicles, but it appears they a preference for used versionsSource: Roy Morgan

“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.”

The Roy Morgan survey provides some powerful insights into the attitudes held by those looking to buy electric vehicles. It shows 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.

They 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.