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EV demand overtakes diesel in leasing sector

Demand for electrified vehicles has overtaken that of diesel-powered models for the first time in the leasing sector, according to Leasing.com.

Sales enquiry data from the car leasing comparison site shows demand for electrified vehicles – consisting of battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid vehicles – has been steadily increasing since the start of the year and has outperformed demand for diesel vehicles throughout the second quarter of 2021.

This reflects the overall new car market’s shift away from diesel, as highlighted in the latest registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and traders. In the year to date diesel vehicles have achieved an 18% market share, while electrified vehicles have managed 21.7%.

Dave Timmis, managing director of Leasing.com, said: “We’ve been planning for the UK market to shift towards electric drivetrains, but the rate at which they’ve overtaken diesel has been surprising.

“The rise of electric vehicles is being driven by increased accessibility. The market was previously dominated by relatively expensive models such as the Tesla Model S, while newer cost-effective models like the Hyundai Ioniq and the Vauxhall Corsa E are now opening up EVs to all motorists in the UK and leasing is helping to make them affordable.”

The UK new car leasing market has benefited from the introduction of new electric models, as leasing is a cost-effective way for consumers to access them without long-term ownership commitments.

BEV demand increased by 129% on Leasing.com in 2020 and accounted for around 10% of total sales enquiries – up from 4% in 2019.

So far in 2021, demand for electric drivetrains has continued on a strong trajectory - BEVs have risen 27% and hybrids by 57%, with the biggest increase being seen in PHEVs at 78%. In contrast, petrol vehicles only saw a 3% growth and diesel plummeted by 13%.

Leasing.com expects to see BEVs hit 20% of overall enquires in 2021.

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