Fuel shortage a catalyst for electric vehicle sales

This is the latest report in a series of weekly updates for industry colleagues from Rachael Prasher, managing director of What Car? and Haymarket Automotive. Quoted poll data is from more than 1100 whatcar.com users.

The ongoing fuel shortage is acting as a catalyst for the electric vehicle market, according to our latest industry research.

With the military now assisting with fuel deliveries in some parts of the country, our latest industry research looked at whether shortages at the pumps have caused more buyers to consider an electric vehicle as their next car.

Of the 1186 in-market buyers who currently own a petrol or diesel vehicle, 23% told us the fuel shortage has made them more likely to consider an electric or hybrid car as their next car. One-in-10 said they were now more likely to buy a fully electric model, while 13% were now more likely to consider a hybrid.

The good news for sellers is that 49% of those now considering a fully electric or hybrid vehicle due to the shortage told What Car? that they are planning on contacting a dealer about an electric vehicle this year.

Of all the petrol and diesel owners surveyed, 36% told us they had found it difficult to fuel their vehicle in recent weeks due to the shortage, while 31% said they had now reduced the amount of driving they do. Nearly half (47%) said they rely on their car for work.

The research also found 35% of all in-market buyers are looking to buy in the next four weeks, while 25% expect to purchase in the next 1-3 months. More than half of all buyers are looking at the new market, while 45% are considering buying a used vehicle as their next car.