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Study: Hybrid drivers tend to be wealthy, healthy

Well-to-do fitness buffs who use the Net for news fit the typical profile of hybrid car owners, according to a report by Scarborough Research.

The face behind the wheel of a hybrid car is most likely to belong to an upwardly mobile, physically active person with tech savvy, according to a report by Scarborough Research (PDF).

Forty-two percent of those polled earn six figures or more each year. The group is more than 20 percent likely than average to be at least 50 years old. Nearly a third hold a postgraduate degree, with the rate of college graduation more than doubling the U.S. average.

Only 14 percent of hybrid owners identify as Republican, while 38 percent are Democrats, and 34 percent call themselves independent, according to the report.

These hybrid drivers are more than twice as likely than average consumers to go skiing, hiking, or practice yoga, and they are 66 percent more likely to ride a bicycle. They also consume more organic food, yogurt, and decaffeinated coffee.

The group surveyed also demonstrates above-average tech savvy. Within the last month, 78 percent used e-mail, while nearly a third either used text messaging on a phone or took photos on a mobile device. More than a third reported using a digital-video recorder, satellite TV, or a video game system.

Scarborough went on to detail hybrid car owners' typical online activities, which it says outpace the national average. They include accessing news, Web auctions such as those on eBay, blogs, financial information, videos, movie listings, sports, and travel reservation sites. Hybrid owners are also more than twice as likely as other consumers to use a broadcast or cable TV Web site, the report said.

Toyota Motor makes the most popular hybrid vehicles, followed by Honda Motor. Top markets for hybrids include Las Vegas, San Francisco, Tuscon, Ariz., and Washington, D.C., where the cars are found in at least 2 percent of households.

The survey included responses from 110,000 adults. Scarborough consumer and media research is backed by Nielsen and Arbitron services.