Friday 31 January 2020 12:01 am

Most Brits intend to turn to electric or hybrid cars with next purchase

The majority of British drivers do not intend to buy a conventional petrol or diesel car for their next purchase, amid growing interest in hybrid and electric cars.

Only 48 per cent of consumers in a major poll said they plan to buy a traditional internal combustion engine-powered car next, City A.M. can reveal. 

That is down on last year’s figure of 63 per cent of consumers, according to Deloitte’s annual UK automotive consumer study.

The fact that electric and hybrid cars are better for the environment was the most significant reason for the shift away from traditional engines. 

About 52 per cent of those planning to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle as their next car cited lower carbon emissions in their reasoning.

However, the intention to move away from the internal combustion engine has not yet translated into sales.

Last year, the UK bought a record number of electric and hybrid cars, but this still only made up 7.4 per cent of the new car market.

Nonetheless, pure battery electric vehicles experienced growth of 144 per cent to 37,850 units.

According to Deloitte, more people would be interested in buying an electric car if there were more perks attached.

This could include throwing in charging and maintenance costs for the first three years of ownership, researchers said.

And a third of consumers said a lack of charging infrastructure in the UK was their greatest concern when it came to going electric. 

Moreover, roughly the same proportion of people felt the government was primarily responsible for building this infrastructure.

Michael Woodward, UK automotive lead at Deloitte, commented: “2020 will see an influx of new EV models enter the UK car market. 

“At the same time, consumer anxiety around battery range is gradually improving as the underlying technology evolves and feasibility of driving electric realised.”

Sean Kemple, director of sales at Close Brothers Motor Finance, added: “This study provides yet more evidence that we’re at the tipping point for alternative fuel vehicles. 

“Interest has been sparking for electric and hybrid cars over the last few years, and while sales are still relatively low in real terms, the speed of growth is accelerating.”