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News   |   7 July 2022

Is the public appetite for electric vehicles growing as a result of inflation?

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With the astonishingly high price of fuel being one of the biggest talking points at the moment, the existing chatter surrounding Electric Vehicles (EVs) has become louder. Could EVs be the prized, cost-saving, silver bullet that consumers need to save huge sums of money? Or is this growing trend a false dawn?

 

We recently ran a survey on Keyloop’s social platforms for our followers to tell us what they think. Here is what we learnt from over 600 responses.

 

Do you plan to go EV for your next car?

From our social poll on LinkedIn, we can see that 40% plan to purchase an EV for their next car, while 39% said they do not plan to purchase an EV and the remaining 21% voted they’re not sure.

The government has proposed that all new cars and vans must be fully electric by 2035. That’s only 13 years away. According to zapmap.com[1], EV registrations continue to rise in absolute numbers, with 15,448 new registrations of battery EVs in May 2022, giving EVs a market share of 12.4% of all new car registrations.

Our poll results show there needs to be more of a focus on selling EVs between now and 2035, and retailers and manufacturers have a key role to play in this.

 

What would entice the public to get an EV?

An impressive 68% of those surveyed on LinkedIn said that they would be most enticed by the low running costs of electric vehicles, over environmental benefits (20%) and low vehicle tax (12%).

We are now starting to see that people are buying EVs not because of an appreciation of their benefits to the environment, but to reduce costs. With the cost-of-living crisis deepening, petrol prices at a record high, and households having to make tough budgetary decisions, it is not a complete shock that individuals are beginning to see the intrinsic value of buying an EV.

 

The journey ahead

According to Deloitte.com research[2], the long-term outlook for EVs is strong, despite the pressure exerted on the market by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The significant shift in the expected volume of EVs by 2030 is based on four factors: consumer sentiment, policy & regulation, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) strategy and the role of corporations. All four of these factors saw major changes in direction over the last year, and have since been shaped further by the pandemic.

Consumer sentiment – From 2018 to 2020, there were some noticeable changes in consumer attitudes toward EVs. Concerns over the cost/price premium have diminished in majority of countries which has seen cuts in EV subsidies.

Policy & regulation – Not only are there economic benefits for states that support a transition to electric, but the positive environmental impact has made the widespread adoption of EVs a necessary step toward achieving climate-change goals, such as those of the 2015 Paris Agreement. Several policies and regulations are helping encourage the growth of EV adoption.

OEM strategy - In the past two years, some prominent OEMs have announced strategic commitments to EVs. New models have been announced, production targets increased and sales targets moved forward and multiplied.  The impact of the investment and targets will represent a seismic market shift over the next decade, in terms of availability and affordability of models.

Role of corporations – In the past two years, purpose has continued rising to the top of the corporate agenda, with an increasing number of companies seeking to differentiate themselves by acting as a force for positive change. Because travel is a major avenue for businesses to alleviate emissions, more and more companies are considering how they can support a shift to EVs.

As petrol prices continue to rise, EVs are certainly gaining in popularity. Although concerns about range anxiety and charging availability continue to exist, new innovations such as Ziggy, the EV charging robot, are rapidly starting to address these challenges. Just how quickly these remaining barriers to purchase can be solved will depend on how well all stakeholders in the automotive industry can work together to deliver the infrastructure required to really move the needle on consumer confidence and accelerate EV purchases.