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by Tim Beissmann

Generation Y prefers electric and hybrid vehicles to conventional cars, according to a new global study by auditing firm Deloitte.

The survey found 57 per cent of Gen Y (people aged from their late teens to early 30s) prefers electrified vehicles.

Deloitte vice chairman and automotive practice leader Craig Giffi believes Gen Y could be the “tipping point” for hybrids and electric vehicles to become mainstream.

“The motivation is heavily based on economics, lowering their fuel costs,” Giffi said. “What’s driving them to hybrids and electrified vehicles is not so much saving the planet as they want to save their pocketbook.”

The study revealed the inside of the car could be even more important to Gen Y than the hardware under the bonnet.

Of those surveyed, 59 per cent said dashboard technology was the most important part of a car’s interior, while 73 per cent said they favoured touchscreen controls over traditional buttons, dials and switches.

The results of the study emphasise the preference of younger consumers for innovative technology, and give an insight into what we can expect from automotive design in the near future.

The study follows one from November that showed young people are becoming increasingly apathetic towards cars, with 46 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds admitting they would take portable internet access over a car of their own.