Post-Lockdown UK Car Buyers Cool to BEVs

Post-lockdown UK car buyers are becoming less keen on switching from their current ICE powered vehicles to BEVs.

That’s the finding of a poll by online used car retailer CarGurus that suggests fewer people surveyed saying they expect to own an EV in the next decade. Despite fuel prices reaching record highs and the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars banned from 2030, UK motorists’ appetite for EVs has decreased when comparing interest in 2021 versus 2022. Notably, potential ownership in the next five years has fallen from 44% to 40% and in 10 years from 66% to 59%.

The research found the decrease in interest has come largely from the younger generation, with 18-29-year olds’ likelihood of EV adoption in the next 10 years dropping from 74% to just 56%. It suggests that the drop in possible future EV ownership aligns to the decline in excitement about EVs among Gen Z, decreasing by 26% from 2021 to 2022. However, the study revealed consideration varied by age, with 30-44-year-old car buyers increasingly open to buying an EV within the next decade, rising from 65% to 72% compared to 12 months ago.

The research also detailed the most important factors that would convince drivers to go electric. Topping the list of incentives were more availability of charging stations at 49%, technology improvements with reference to battery range and charge time at 47% and cost parity with ICE-vehicles standing at 43%. Tax incentives and rebates at 33% were also noted to be one of the most effective measures of convincing people to make the switch. This comes following the UK government’s announcement earlier this year that it was closing the plug-in hybrid grant scheme to new orders.

The study also highlighted the most desirable car brands among potential EV drivers. Ford, Audi and BMW claimed the top three spots, followed by Volkswagen and Tesla. Interest in Mercedes, BMW and Audi declined the most when comparing 2021 with 2022.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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