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neil addley judgeservice 1
Neil Addley

Car buyers reject electric in favour of petrol and hybrid


MOST car buyers considering their next purchase are now evenly split between petrol and hybrid as their first choice, rejecting electric vehicles (EVs) as being too expensive and the public charging network not being up to scratch.

JudgeService’s Car Buyer Barometer, which polled the views of 1,000 consumers, found over half expect their next car to be petrol (27%) or hybrid (27%), but only 12% expect to go fully electric.

Diesel will account for 10% of purchases and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) 7%. While 17% of buyers remain undecided about their next fuel choice.

For retail EV sales to take off, the market requires a much higher percentage of petrol and diesel owners to make the switch in their next buying cycle.

However, most petrol owners (38%) say they will stick with the fuel and those thinking of changing are more likely to consider a hybrid (27%) than an EV (10%). Diesel owners are more likely to change fuel type with only 27% staying put and hybrid (22%) the most popular alternative, followed by petrol (13%), EV (8%) and PHEV (8%).

When asked to list the main reasons for not considering EVs, buyers were united in citing the lack of public charging points (55%) and cars being too expensive (54%). Other obstacles included concerns over battery life (40%), range (40%) and lack of trust in the technology (22%).

“Despite the legislative push towards mass EV adoption, our research reveals a lack of appetite among most retail buyers to go fully electric when purchasing their next car,” said Neil Addley, Managing Director of JudgeService.

“Without incentives to address the high list prices of most EVs and the woefully slow roll-out of public charging, owners are preferring to stick with petrol or maximise on the proven low running costs offered by hybrids.

“This presents franchised dealers with a dilemma as the new car market is now skewed towards ramping up EV sales to achieve ZEV Mandate compliance. However, with nearly a fifth of buyers currently not sure about their next fuel type, there is an opportunity for dealers to open conversations with these undecided buyers.

“Understanding the day to day motoring needs of customers is now more important than ever. While EVs are not for everyone, some buyers with access to home charging could benefit, especially if they take advantage of some of the many 0% APR new car deals being offered by OEMs keen to increase their EV share.”

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