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More drivers considering going electric after fuel crisis

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

More than a third (35%) of people are likely to choose an electric vehicle as their next car, according to Volkswagen Financial Services.

The fuel crisis was cited as a key reason for the switch with 30% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 31% of 25 to 34-year-olds admitting to panic buying fuel during the recent petrol shortages. This compares to just 7% of 55 to 64-year-olds and 3% of those aged 65 to 74-years-old.

Not only are more than a third of people considering going electric for their next car, but 32% of Brits say they are likely to buy a second-hand electric vehicle.

Volkswagen Financial Services UK said the annual number of used electric cars it finances has surged 76% from 2020 to 2021, whilst petrol and diesel cars have fallen 23% and 37% respectively.

The finance company also said that ‘range anxiety’ – worrying about how far an electric vehicle can travel before it needs charging – is becoming something of a myth as the UK now has more EV charging stations than conventional fuel stations.

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.”