Though petrol-electric powertrains are big news in the US and Japan, they’re of little interest to Europeans, GM Europe’s Opel chairman Carl-Peter Forster told The Car Connection (TCC) website.

TCC noted that Opel’s US recently announced plans to offer hybrid options in 12 vehicles by 2007, with the capacity to produce as many as 1 million of the “green” machines annually.

But, the website said, Forster suggested, there is no clear plan to make such technology available in his market.

Hybrids “will have limited use in Europe,” where buyers are instead opting for fuel-saving diesel engines in ever-increasing numbers, Forster reportedly told TCC.

In the UK, Honda recently stopped selling its Insight hybrid though Toyota continues to offer the Prius.