Electric Vehicles Interest Up 500% After UK Petrol Ban

Interest in electric vehicles is up around 500% after the UK announced a ban on petrol and diesel-powered vehicles by 2030, according to automotive media publications. 

Last week, we reported that the UK had announced a ban on petrol and diesel-powered vehicles by 2030, hoping to decrease its environmental footprint and implement the principles of an environmental management system across the United Kingdom. 

Now, we’ve had reports of interest in electric vehicles from the buying public jumping by as much as 500% after the Johnson government made its pledge, as part of its Green Industrial Revolution plan. 

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According to a report from BuyaCar.co.uk, electric vehicle interest jumped up 500% after the UK announced its petrol ban. BuyaCar is an online classifieds page in the UK which has around 60,000 vehicles listed on its site, and the site says that search interest in electric vehicles jumped from around 300 a day to “1,679 in the 24 hours following Boris Johnson’s announcement.” 

Searches for electric vehicles accounted for around 6% of all search traffic on the site in the month leading up to the announcement, and nearly 10.5% in the days after the exit from petrol and diesel cars was announced. 

The website does concede that there is a lot of work to be done to ensure that the UK public can purchase an electric vehicle and be confident in the requisite infrastructure to curb range anxiety and being left without a charging station. 

Authors at BuyaCar write that “there is clearly a long road ahead for the government to ensure sufficient – and affordable – electric new cars, especially given that the overwhelming majority of motorists still aim for petrol or diesel.” 

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“Now, with searches for electric cars suddenly breaking through the 10% mark in the wake of news that all new car drivers will have to have one in 10 years, it will be interesting to see if this translates into increased sales.” 

Making the announcement that the UK would implement a ban on petrol and diesel-powered vehicles by 2030, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that “my 10-point plan to get there will mobilise £12 billion of government investment, and potentially three times as much from the private sector, to create and support up to 250,000 green jobs.” 

The UK government had pledged to invest at least £2.8 billion into increasing electric vehicle charging infrastructure, as well as increasing battery capabilities and incentives for manufacturers to produce electric vehicles.  

According to a report from CleanTechnica, “UK plugin vehicle sales rose above 12% in October (6.6% fully electric), and was above 9% in the first 10 months of 2020. If a five-fold increase in EV interest translated to a five-fold increase in plugin vehicle sales, we’d see rocket growth to around 50% of the UK’s auto market.” 

Auto analyst with Wood Mackenzie, Tom Heggarty has told CNBC that there is significant work to be done to ensure that cars sold by 2030 meet the environmental targets set by the Johnson government. 

“Less than 10% of the cars sold in the U.K. during 2020 so far have been battery EVs… Getting to 100% will require a huge effort across the entire supply chain, as well as ensuring that enough fast charging infrastructure is available to keep all new electric vehicles on the road,” he said. 

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