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  • Despite 52% of Brits surveyed predicting their next car will be a hybrid, 68% of petrol and diesel drivers believe they do not know enough to purchase one
  • Hybrid drivers are more likely to be adopters of new technology, enjoy driving, feel more responsibility for climate change and take more pride in their cars
  • Honda has launched the What’s Your Gap? quiz to help UK motorists understand why and when they are likely to switch to a hybrid

Over half (52%) of Brits believe their next car is likely to be a hybrid vehicle but despite this strong intention to go greener, 68% of petrol and diesel drivers feel like they do not know enough to buy one.

New research from Honda indicates that this knowledge gap is one of the contributing factors to Brits taking over a year (13 months) on average to purchase a hybrid vehicle – highlighting a gap between people’s green goals and car purchases.

To help UK motorists who may be considering a switch to a lower emission vehicle, the What’s Your Gap? quiz has been developed. Based on a series of questions relating to personal habits such as technology adoption, views on the environment and driving styles, the quiz helps drivers understand why they haven’t yet made the switch to hybrid and how long it will take them to do so.

Let’s get technical
When it comes to technology, the research revealed that hybrid drivers consider themselves to be early adopters. A third (33%) say that they are likely to try new technology before friends and family, in comparison to 18% of fossil fuel drivers.

This attitude also influences whether they update other items of personal tech, with only 15% of diesel and petrol drivers likely to upgrade their mobile phones before others, in comparison to 27% of hybrid drivers. This contrast is consistent when it comes to vehicles too. Petrol and diesel drivers tend to favour the familiar, with 57% agreeing that purchasing a hybrid would be a “leap in the dark”.

It is perhaps understandable then that those looking for a little more tech in their lives prefer hybrid cars. Hybrids offer a great combination of petrol and electric virtues, enabling quiet, zero-emission running at lower city speeds with the power of a petrol engine available at higher speeds, along with quick, conventional refuelling for longer journeys. Some combine this innovation under the bonnet with the latest in-car gadgets too; the all-new Honda Jazz e:HEV offers WiFi hotspot capability, an AI-powered personal assistant and a My Honda+ app to keep owners connected to their car remotely.

Going green
The research indicates that this gap between positive perceptions of hybrids and car buying decisions can create tension between our views and the products we use every day.

When it comes to the environment, the majority (80%) of UK drivers are concerned about climate change, with the research finding that hybrid drivers are much more likely to feel a strong sense of responsibility towards the environment (27% vs. 18%) and to consider themselves an environmentalist (50% vs. 37%).

The Jazz and CR-V e:HEV advanced, fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain enables drivers to save money as well as reduce their environmental footprint[1] – which could be why over half (57%) of hybrid owners are likely to feel a sense of pride when complimented on their car, in comparison to 38% of fossil fuel drivers.

To explore these findings further, Honda has partnered with behavioural scientist Professor Ivo Vlaev, Warwick Business School, to understand what is driving the gap and explain how certain characteristics could predict the likelihood of your next car being a hybrid.

Professor Ivo Vlaev, Warwick Business School, commented “While 68% of petrol and diesel drivers say that they do not feel they know enough to purchase a hybrid vehicle, this is unlikely to be because there is a lack of information. Rather, it is because information can be overwhelming. We are all bombarded with much more information than we can possibly consciously pay attention to. When we have a natural desire to know everything before making a big decision – such as with a car purchase – this is difficult to achieve and so we ‘tune out’ and instead go with an easy, familiar decision. The familiar decision in this case is another petrol or diesel car because we have purchased one of those before.”

“This research helps us understand why some people who are convinced of the benefits of a hybrid make the switch, whereas others do not.  Some of us are generally more open to try new things than are others; or have a strong sense of identity as someone who is knowledgeable about cars and enjoys driving. Those characteristics of being open to try new things and cars being part of our sense of identity are associated with making the switch to a hybrid. Indeed, most current hybrid owners (61%) say that they find joy in driving”.

Debunking range anxiety
The research also indicates that misconceptions surrounding the range of hybrids continue to be a cause for hesitation amongst petrol and diesel drivers, with 79% citing this as a concern. Significantly, this no longer becomes a consideration once the vehicle is bought, with over half (52%) of hybrid owners being only vaguely aware of their range when driving.

This is because range is simply not an issue. – Honda’s hybrid CR-V has a range of almost 493-539 miles, around 92 miles more than a CR-V petrol variant.

Rebecca Stead, Head of Automobiles for Honda UK, says: “As we all work towards wider environmental goals, changing the way we get around will be key to reducing carbon emissions. This is why the CR-V and all-new Jazz hybrids play a key role in Honda’s commitment that 100% of our mainstream European models will feature electrified powertrains by 2022.

“It is particularly good to see that range is not an issue for hybrid drivers, which should provide reassurance to those petrol and diesel drivers who may still have a question mark over this. There are many benefits to owning a hybrid vehicle, and we’re pleased to see that people are particularly proud of their car when driving one.”

Find out What’s Your Gap? and get more information here:

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