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Growth in EV interest following ‘fuel shortage’

An ICE and EV fuel lances

Almost a quarter (23%) of petrol and diesel car owners are considering a switch to an electric or hybrid model as a result of the ongoing fuel shortage.

With the military now called to assist with deliveries to forecourts, What Car? surveyed 1,186 in-market buyers who own a petrol or diesel vehicle to understand whether shortages at the pumps have caused more buyers to consider an electric vehicle (EV).

One-in-10 said they were now more likely to buy an EV, while 13% were now more likely to consider a hybrid.

Steve Huntingford, editor, What Car?, said: “When COVID first struck, we found an increase in the number of buyers considering electric vehicles as their next car due to the positive environmental impact they have. The current fuel shortage is acting as a similar catalyst for electric vehicles."

What Car?’s research comes after the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) announced September 2021 was a record month for fully electric vehicle sales, with more than 32,000 registered during the plate-change month.

It found 49% of buyers now consider an EV are looking to contact a dealer about a hybrid or fully electric car by the end of the year.

Of all the petrol and diesel owners surveyed, 36% told What Car? they had found it difficult to fuel their vehicle in recent weeks due to the shortage, while 31% said they had now reduced the amount of driving they do.

Nearly half (47%) said they rely on their car for work.

The research also found 35% of all in-market buyers are looking to buy in the next four weeks, while 25% expect to purchase in the next one-three months. More than half of all buyers are looking at the new market, while 45% are considering buying a used vehicle as their next car.

Huntingford said: “September was another record month in the UK for electric vehicle sales and shows the increasing presence electrified cars have in buyers’ minds. While the fuel shortage is another concern the automotive industry has to face, the silver lining is that it is helping accelerate the transition towards electric cars.”

At the peak of the ‘crisis’ there was a 61% rise in car buying interest in EVs on Auto Trader and a 59% spike on carwow.

A recent Regit survey found that 20% of drivers were considering purchasing an EV next, as a result of the disruption.

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