Analysis Behaviour Change UK

11 million drivers in the UK are planning to go electric in the next 5 years

Electric Vehicle growth in the UK is currently exponential and there are now almost a quarter of a million pure EVs on British roads. Despite the general slowdown in the UK car market during the pandemic the number of registered EVs doubled from 91,000 cars in 2019 to 194,000 by the end of 2020. Looking at the current rate of EV sales in 2021 (by May), we could see over 200,000 new electric cars purchased this year, which would again almost double the UK EV fleet [Editor: Looking back from Jan 2022, this forecast was close with 191,000 new EVs actually added in 2021, bringing the total registered to 385,000 EVs].

However those potential 400,000 EVs would still only make up just 1% of the 40 million cars on UK streets. It is clear that EV adoption still has a long way to go until the transition to electric mobility is complete.

Chart by Visualizer

But now a new survey has found that up to 11 million drivers in the UK are planning to switch to EV in the next 5 years. That would mean a huge demand for over 9 million fully electric cars by 2026. The study commissioned by VW Financial Services found that 23% of Brits could see themselves driving an EV within 5 years.

Unsurprisingly the research also found that there is a generational divide in those wanting to go electric. Younger people, under 45 years old, were more likely to want to switch (32%) compared to those over 45 (18%).

This fits with another recent survey that found that up to 34% of UK residents thought an EV would suit their lifestyle right now. The study also found that 62% of people liked the idea of waking up to a full battery.

This is really good news for the UK’s effort to reduce CO2 emissions and shift more drivers into EVs. However if this demand is really there, then it is debatable if the major car companies can supply enough EVs as fast as people are planning to switch. In order to reach 9 million EVs on UK roads by 2026, electric vehicle growth needs to continue to double every year until 2026. Right now the supply of EVs does not look strong enough to achieve this. But with companies such as Tesla and VW significantly ramping up their manufacturing capabilities, the UK may get closer to achieving the potential revealed in this study.

Photo from Aiden Hancock on Unsplash.

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