Survey reveals lockdown has Brits driving ahead on sustainability and the appetite for electric cars is stronger than ever

New research released by Auto Trader, the UK’s largest digital marketplace for new and used cars, reveals that two-thirds (63 percent) of Brits are focussing on leading a more sustainable lifestyle as a result of the pandemic.

As part of this lockdown-inspired eco-enthusiasm, Auto Trader found that one in five Brits (21 percent) are planning to stop driving polluting petrol and diesel cars, and considering purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) or alternative fuel vehicle (AFV).

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The survey also revealed that 60 percent of the 2000 people surveyed who don’t currently own an electric car or alternative fuel vehicle believe they will own one within the next five years. Research by the European Energy Agency found that carbon emissions from an electric car are around 17-30 percent lower than a petrol or diesel car.

These more sustainable lifestyle choices go beyond just looking at the car they choose. Almost a quarter (24 percent) feel more grounded after living through Covid restrictions as they are planning to fly less. The survey also uncovered that around a third (31 percent) are considering using renewable energy and over a third (37 percent) are planning to go paperless.

Auto Trader is also predicting that the sale of new electric and alternative fuel vehicles could overtake sales of new combustion engine cars as early as 2024. While electric vehicles are generally more expensive to purchase than petrol models, electric cars are much cheaper to run.

The fuel cost to drive an electric car 100 miles is around £5-8, whereas in a diesel or petrol car it would cost between £14 and £175. As more people are adopting zero-emission vehicles Auto Trader has seen a five-fold rise in used electric cars.

Erin Baker, editorial director at Auto Trader explains: “In two years, we’ve seen three times the number of consumers view electric vehicle adverts, and one in seven visitors to Auto Trader now look at an electric vehicle. The imposed extra time at home has meant potential car buyers have had more time to do their research on electric and debunk myths, particularly around range anxiety.

“Additionally, not being able to spend on holidays and other big purchases means some have more disposable income, making the price point more palatable despite the government’s recent cuts to electric grants.

“As we near the end of lockdown we predict that this trend will continue as the environment and overall sustainability remains high on the public agenda. The range of new electric cars on our site has risen by 74 percent since 2019 and with more car brands releasing electric vehicle models, higher competition among brands is likely to lead to greater accessibility.”

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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