Drivers more likely to buy an electric car than petrol and diesel

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Research from Volkswagen Financial Services UK shows that annual finance cases for electric vehicles (BEV/PHEV/HEV) surged 1,062 percent from July 2019 to July 2022. The percentage of electric vehicles financed by the car finance company as a proportion of all vehicles in its parc has increased from one percent in 2019 to seven percent this year. 

The trends are made more impressive when considering the level of volatility in the automotive industry.

Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic and the semiconductor shortages have all hammered the manufacturing industry.

VWFS UK has also crowned Newcastle-upon-Tyne as the nation’s top EV hotspot, with more electric cars financed in the North East city in 2022 than anywhere else in the UK.

The top five was completed by Southampton, Guildford, Reading and Northern Ireland. 

Research has also shown that drivers are now more invested in green technology and environmentally-friendly transport options.

This is evidenced by recent research showing that three in 10 Britons say their dream car has now changed from a petrol or diesel car to an electric car since the pandemic.

People are also now more likely to buy an EV (26 percent) than use public transport (24 percent), or buy a petrol or diesel car (19 percent) compared to before the pandemic.

Quentin Willson, former Top Gear presenter and founder of the FairCharge campaign, commented on the data saying that energy prices need to stay affordable to ensure uptake remains high.

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He said: “We’ve seen an explosion in EVs in the last two years and in the next four or five years electric cars will become the preferred choice for many. 

“There are many EVs that now do 200 to 280 miles on a single charge and batteries in some of the earliest EVs are outlasting the chassis of the car. 

“Just look at our roads and you’ll see that hundreds of thousands of EV drivers have folded electric cars into their lives and successfully use them without anxieties.

“The main priority for me as founder FairCharge is to lobby the Government to establish a Charging Charter, which regulates fair costs, a fair experience, fair connectivity and fair reliability across the charging network. 

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“I’ve had talks with Grant Shapps, the former Secretary of State for Transport – an EV driver and enthusiast like me – and he agrees we need to offer new EV drivers the best charging experience and most affordable charging costs possible.”

Volkswagen Financial Services UK has reported its most popular EV models in 2022, too, with more finance cases activated for the Volkswagen ID.3 than any other electric car this year, followed by the Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron, Volkswagen ID.4 and Audi Q4 e-tron.

Moreover, the data illustrates how much driving habits have changed over the past two years.

Research shows four in 10 haven’t driven for work at all since January 2021 and 87 percent are driving fewer than 10,000 miles annually for leisure.

Darren Braybrook, Commercial Development Manager at Volkswagen Financial Services UK, said: “The UK’s electric car market is in overdrive right now and the rapid acceleration of demand for electromobility is really exciting. 

“However, we haven’t yet reached a critical mass of BEV adoption, where we see the cost of acquiring an electric vehicle come down quickly. 

“Affordability is a key issue that the wider industry is working hard to improve as we know that cost is the primary barrier to EV adoption. 

“That in itself is a positive challenge as it means that consumers are already convinced of the benefits of going green, we just need to help customers have better access to these vehicles.”

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