Fuel anxiety here to stay
- Posted by: Alan Feldberg
- Category: News
Auto Trader has said fuel anxiety will continue to drive the shift toward electric vehicles even after this current crisis ends – although costs remain prohibitive.
Panic at the pumps in the last week has seen online searches for electric vehicles rise by up to 1,600%.
Ian Plummer, commercial director, Auto Trader, said: “We are all familiar with the idea of range anxiety, but the events of the past few days mean we are entering the age of fuel anxiety. We have seen a massive surge in consumer engagement for electric cars on our marketplace over the weekend. Not only did the number of advert views for new and used electric models increase a record 28% and 61% respectively versus the previous weekend, but we also saw a huge uplift in the number of people sending enquiries to retailers, with one sent every two minutes.
“This suggests that people aren’t simply flirting with the idea of electric but have been encouraged to actively pursue a purchase. Accordingly, we expect retailers with electric stock to do particularly well this week.
“However, despite this boost in activity, it’s unlikely to represent a major step towards the Government’s Road to Zero ambitions. That’s because electric cars are prohibitively expensive for the majority of people, and despite the significant increase in range performance among new models, capable of reaching around 250 miles on a single charge, concerns of an inadequate charging infrastructure remain.
“To make them a genuinely viable option for mainstream buyers, we need more commitment to provide greater incentives to deal with the upfront cost, as well as more investment to improve the national infrastructure to support both those rare long journeys, and those without access to home charging.
““Concern about petrol availability won’t end when the pumps start up again, and so this increased interest represents a unique opportunity to inform, to excite and to incentivise car owners to make the switch. If the Government is serious about reaching its 2030 targets, then it is one it can ill afford to miss.”