Fuel crisis raises EV popularity

Fuel crisis raises EV popularity

A study by Volkswagen Financial Services UK (VWFS) has shown more than a third (35%) of people are now more likely to buy an electric vehicle when they choose their next car as a result of the fuel crisis.

Not only are more than a third of people surveyed considering an EV vehicle for their next car, but 32% of Brits said they were likely to buy a secondhand EV.

The annual number of used electric cars being financed by VWFS customers has reportedly surged 76% from 2020 to 2021, while petrol and diesel cars have fallen 23% and 37% respectively.

The VWFS research also found that 30% of 18-24 year olds and 31% of 25-34 year olds admitted to panic buying fuel, compared to just 7% of 55-64 year olds and 3% of those aged 65-74 years old.

This was said to be most widespread in the South East (17%) whilst motorists in Scotland were most reluctant to panic buy (7%).

With queues at forecourts stretching out at locations across the country, the recent fuel shortage has evidently convinced many that EVs are a more favourable option than first thought.

Range anxiety is reportedly becoming more of a myth, too, as the UK now has more EV charging stations than conventional fuel stations.

In his autumn Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak reiterated the government’s pledge of an extra £350 million to support the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains, as well as an extra £620 million for electric car grants and infrastructure as part of its Net Zero Strategy in the lead up to the COP26 climate summit.

The latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that September was the best month ever for new battery electric vehicle (BEV) uptake.

With a market share of 15.2%, more than 32,000 BEVs joined UK roads in the month, meaning September’s performance was only 5,000 short of the total number registered during the whole of 2019.

Rebecca Whitmore, Electric Vehicle Senior Product Owner at Volkswagen Financial Services UK, said: “Electric vehicles have never been more popular than they are today and it’s clear from our research that the recent fuel crisis has only accelerated the surge in demand for electric cars and their new technologies.

“However, to meet the government’s decarbonisation targets, we need the take-up of EVs to be much higher. The average length of each car journey in the UK is fewer than 10 miles, so there’s still a lot of work to be done to alter the wider public’s perception of their driving habits, because an electric car would slot into the average person’s daily life more seamlessly than they probably imagine.

“As EV technology continues to improve and these vehicles continue to become more affordable and accessible, it won’t be too long before we have mainstream adoption in the UK.”

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