UK Electric Car Inquiries Soar During Fuel Supply Crisis | Electric, hybrid and low emission cars
As petrol stations in parts of the UK began to run out of fuel on Friday, the business of Martin Miller’s electric car dealership in Guildford, Surrey began to soar.
After what ended up being the busiest day for his company EV Experts, interest doesn’t seem to be waning. This week, the agenda is full of test drives and the company is out of stock.
“People buy electric cars for environmental reasons, for economy reasons and because the technology is great,” he said. “But Friday was one of those times when people said, ‘Do you know what, that’s a sign we need to go electric.’
As scenes of chaos unfold at gas stations across the country amid shortages, for many electric vehicle (EV) dealers, the fuel crisis has resulted in an unexpected surge in inquiries and sales.
EVA England, a non-profit organization representing new and potential electric vehicle drivers, reports an increase in electric car inquiries and interest from electric vehicle dealers, especially over the past week.
“Saturday was crazy, but Friday even got past that, it was very strange,” said Miller, who founded his company four years ago. “I now have trade-in cars without gasoline to move them. “
Besides existing factors such as the expansion of the very low emission zone of London, the fuel crisis has proven to be another trigger point, he said. “People used to use it like ‘this is the time when I’m not going to put this off anymore’.”
The electric vehicle market is no longer the preserve of innovators and early adopters, he said, with more popular models like the Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen ID 3 and Jaguar I-Pace.
Ben Strzalko, owner of Electric Cars UK in Leyland, Lancashire, said that as a small business it would take a few months to feel the ripple effect of the fuel crisis on sales.
But whenever there are issues with gasoline or diesel, he said it acts “just another tick for people making this transition to electric cars.”
He said that “a lot of electric car owners will be smashed to pieces last week” by being able to plug their cars in at home. And as an EV driver himself, he’s admitted to feeling a little smug as he walks past queues of 20 cars outside gas stations over the weekend in his Tesla.
Matt Cleevely, the owner of Cleevely Electric Vehicles in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, specializing in used electric vehicles, received a wave of inquiries over the weekend and Monday morning from customers citing the fuel crisis as the reason to switch to electric.
He expects enthusiasm to continue to grow, with gasoline shortages adding “fuel to the fire.”
While he feels sorry for the non-EV drivers who couldn’t get fuel, he said that as an electric car owner it was “very nice” not to have to worry about the fuel. place to get gas on weekends.
“It’s very handy that we were able to refuel in our driveway. This is one of the biggest advantages of having an electric vehicle.
The National Franchised Dealers Association also said several dealers had reported an increase in inquiries about electric vehicles since the start of the crisis.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reported “exceptional growth” in sales of plug-in cars in July, with battery-electric vehicles accounting for 9% of sales. Plug-in hybrids represent 8% of sales and hybrid electric vehicles nearly 12%. Also in July, more electric vehicles than diesel vehicles were registered for the second consecutive month.
The UK has pledged to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and new hybrids by 2035.
Warren Philips, director of volunteer communities at EVA England, said the tipping point for electric vehicles had already been reached, but the fuel crisis “underscores how electric cars could work for the majority of people.”
He added: “The interest is already there, it just adds to it. And moving forward with things like the Cop26, with the climate crisis, with the cost of fuel probably going to go up… people will start looking at electric cars where you just skip that step.