According to the latest analysis from Auto Trader, the sale of new electric vehicles (EVs) could overtake petrol and diesel sales by as early as 2025, whilst alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFV) more broadly, could pass them even earlier, in 2024.
The analysis indicates that by 2025, EVs will account for around 10% of the total British car parc, and AFVs around 18%; by the time the government’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars comes into effect in 2030, they’re likely to represent as much as 30% and 40% respectively. Post the ban on internal combustion engine (ICE) sales in 2030 and then hybrid sales in 2035, it’s likely that, if assuming typical scrappage rates and exclude the exception of classic or collector cars, ICE vehicles will almost disappear from the car parc by the mid-2040s.
Highlighting the growing positive sentiment for electric and low emission cars, research conducted this week by Auto Trader, showed that as many as 24% of consumers surveyed are considering buying an alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV), which is up from 16% in November 2020, and 13% from as recently as August 2020. The same survey revealed that 33% of those considering an EV or hybrid as their next purchase, were directly influenced by the prime minister’s announcement in November.
The levels of demand (based on searches and advert views on Auto Trader) for EVs increased by a massive 93% year-on-year (YoY) in November. Demand eased slightly in December, but remained high, increasing 78% YoY. In contrast, demand for petrol increased just 0.6% YoY last month, whilst diesel dropped -7.7%.
The profile of an EV ‘intender’ clearly differs to that of the average car buyer on Auto Trader. They are typically older (33% are over 55, compared to just 23% of the Auto Trader average), more affluent (33% are in the +£75k income bracket, compared to 17% of the Auto Trader average), and live in wealthier postcodes, with the top five comprising: SW6, Fulham (16% above national average), NW3, Hampstead (+13%), M20, Didsbury (+10%), W4, Chiswick (+11%) and WA14, Hale (+10%).
Commenting, Auto Trader’s commercial director, Ian Plummer, said: “We’ve based our projections quite conservatively on the current trajectory of AFVs and ICE vehicles in the market, as well as the trends we’re observing on our marketplace. Over the last few years we’ve seen consumer sentiment towards electric grow steadily, and whilst conversion from consideration to purchase remains relatively low, it is accelerating as the latest models become ever more attractive, while aspirational brands like Tesla help shift consumer perception. When they become more affordable and the required infrastructure improves, we’re confident we’ll see adoption levels increase significantly and rapidly.