Auto Trader’s Road to 2030 report highlights huge barriers facing EV adoption

  • Less than 50% of UK drivers are willing to switch to electric vehicles (EVs).
  • Auto Trader’s Road to 2030 report reveals 56% of respondents find EVs too expensive, while 47% worry about charging point availability.
  • Auto Trader calls for government support, including equal VAT treatment for charging, VAT cuts on used EVs, and affordable financing options.

Fewer than half of drivers in the UK are currently willing to make the switch to electric vehicles (EVs)

According to a brand new report from Auto Trader, the Road to 2030, drivers are concerned about affordability and charging infrastructure. The report is based on a survey of 4,000 drivers. Only 47% of respondents believe that owning an EV aligns with their lifestyle as the 2030 deadline for banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles looms.

One of the primary concerns voiced by 56% of respondents is the perceived high cost of EVs. 47% worry about the scarcity of charging points. Even though the average household needs to charge their EV only once a week, 40% of drivers believe they would have to charge every three days.

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Affordability & charging underscore the results

The affordability issue is due to the limited availability of EVs priced under £30,000. Currently, there are just nine such models on the market, compared to 87 traditional petrol and diesel options. On average, new EVs remain 33% more expensive than their fossil-fueled counterparts, creating significant barriers to mass adoption.

While there is some good news in the used EV market, with a 23% decrease in prices over the past year, affordability concerns persist. Over a quarter of used EVs are now under £20,000, up from just 7% a year earlier. Some three- to five-year-old EV models have seen even more substantial price drops. That makes them competitive with petrol and diesel alternatives. Interestingly, used EVs are selling as quickly as traditional vehicles, taking only 28 days to sell in August.

What can we do?

The report highlights that EV adoption remains largely limited to wealthier individuals who have access to home charging. To address this issue, Auto Trader is advocating for government intervention, including equal VAT treatment for public and private charging points, VAT cuts on the sale of used EVs, and more affordable financing options for new models.

“There is still much more work to be done to achieve a mass transition to electric vehicles before the
2030 ban on new petrol and diesel models and ensure no driver is left behind. Support from the tax
system to put the used EV market on a more sustainable footing is vital for the sustainability of the
entire EV market and our chances of successfully transitioning to EVs by 2030.”

“Consumers are still worried about affordability and charging, which is why we need a clear
statement of intent from the Government. Penalising drivers who have to charge in public with
higher VAT is simply unfair: we need to end this charging injustice.”

Ian Plummer, Commercial Director, Auto Trader

Auto Trader is the UK’s largest online automotive marketplace. As such, the data they provide is invaluable to supporting the EV transition. With this report, we can drive forward with the figures behind us, and the right goals in mind.

Read the full report here.

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