Confidence in hybrids remains unchanged

Fears that consumers could turn their backs on hybrid cars after a government conventional fuel ban have proved unfounded.

That’s the finding of online motor retail specialist BuyaCar.co.uk, after analysing the behaviour of hundreds of thousands of visitors to its site before and after the claims.

Controversy erupted at the beginning of May when an internal government row over including hybrid cars in the ‘Road to Zero’ plan, which maps the end of conventionally-fuelled cars by 2040, made headlines.

It prompted concern across the industry that the publicity could spark a repeat of last year’s collapse in diesel sales.

Reports that Environment Secretary Michael Gove was spearheading moves to ban hybrids were widely condemned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and professional commentators across the industry.

Among its fears were that confused consumers could switch attention away from hybrid cars, leading to a further overall rise in CO2 emissions if car buyers opted instead for conventional petrol engines.

However, it seems car buyers have taken little notice of the latest controversy.

Analysis of vehicles searched for as well as cars ordered on BuyaCar.co.uk shows that interest in hybrid cars is unchanged, at just under 10% of all searches and sales.