Potential British buyers think hybrids are more expensive and that's stopping them adopting the cleaner engine technology, a Honda UK survey showed.

Of car buyers who would not consider a hybrid vehicle, 40% said price was the main reason they were put off. Cost was followed by lack of awareness of the options available, with 24% suggesting this was the main barrier.
 
Honda's new, more affordable hybrid - the Insight five door hatchback 'concept' - made its public debut today at the Paris motor show.

Honda claims the Insight, on sale in 2009, will be the most affordable petrol-electric car on sale here in the UK.

"This lower price position makes cleaner, hybrid technology more accessible to a completely new group of car buyers," the automaker said.

Its environment manager, John Kingston, said: "This is a massive step forward in the development of hybrid technology. Those people who've considered petrol-electric cars too expensive can now get behind the wheel of a hybrid and experience both the environmental, and the financial benefits of low emission car ownership."

Honda also plans a sports hybrid coupe, based on its CR-Z concept, and a Jazz (Fit) hybrid.