A recent survey of almost 30,000 potential new car buyers in Australia has revealed that more than half are seriously considering a petrol-electric hybrid vehicle as their newest purchase over the next four years.

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The survey, conducted by Roy Morgan Research has concluded that an overwhelming 74 per cent of all new car buyers regard fuel efficiency as more important than high performance - and that women are a key driver for Hybrid purchases in higher income households.

Norman Woodcock, Roy Morgan Research Director of Business Development, says:

"As petrol prices continue to increase, global warming awareness rises and alternatively powered vehicles become more versatile and affordable we will continue to see a dramatic rise in Hybrid consideration and market share."

The most affordable hybrid, the Honda Civic Hybrid at $32,990 combines a petrol engine with an electric motor to boost power and cut fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.