Toyota Motor Corp`s newest Prius hybrid car goes in front of the building of the company headquarters
Toyota Motor Corp`s newest Prius hybrid cars are seen at the company`s factory in Toyota City, central Japan. REUTERS

Hybrids are set to sound the death knell for petrol-powered company cars, which could almost be obsolete within a decade, says a new survey.

Less than 5 percent of those surveyed believe that petrol cars, once the staple choice of business drivers, will outsell other fuel types in a decade's time.

In contrast, nearly 80 percent of business drivers are confident that hybrid or electric vehicles (EVs) will become the most popular company car choice.

Eighty-seven percent would consider a diesel for their next company car, while just 28 percent would put a petrol option on their shortlist, the survey showed.

Exactly half of the drivers polled would also include a hybrid, in either petrol or diesel form, which suggests that the latest batch of hybrids have overcome many of the perceived barriers to entry.

The survey was conducted by UK fleet management service provider Lex Autolease with 300 finance chiefs and company car drivers.

Diesel has already overtaken petrol as the fuel of choice in the fleet sector.....but, clearly, there is an expectation that the move away from petrol will accelerate as hybrids and EVs now begin to attract greater market share, says Chris Chandler, principle consultant at Lex Autolease.

Lex Autolease says that the early interest in EVs has already translated to the next stage: We have a fleet of over 300,000 vehicles and many of our customers are looking to trial alternative fuelled vehicles, which is a sensible approach, and our consultancy team has never been busier with enquiries of this nature.