ONE in two car buyers expect their next car to be electric or hybrid, but the rate at which consumers are transitioning away from traditional combustion engine cars has slowed since last year.
eBay Motors Group’s latest Consumer Insight Panel study found 51% of buyers plan to switch to electric or hybrid for their next purchase, only slightly more than the 49% reported in November 2021.
Furthermore, of those buyers planning to go full electric, the rate remains virtually unchanged year-on-year at 22%. This marks a significant slowdown after the jump from 12% to 21% in 2021.
Although hybrids remain the most popular alternative to buying pure combustion engine cars, accounting for 29% of buyers, the rate of change has also slowed, having risen from 22% to 28% in 2021. However, over half (57%) of these buyers favour traditional hybrids rather than plug-in hybrids.
The research also found some of the traditional barriers to buying an EV have diminished since last year, notably access to charging points (-12%) and cost of purchase (-21%). However, concerns over the cost of charging saw the biggest year-on-year increase (+12%).
The intent to buy an EV or hybrid is strongest among new car buyers (58%), with the majority (57%) expecting to fund their car through a subscription.
“While half of car buyers still show a strong desire to switch to electric or hybrid, the rate at which they plan to is slowing down as buyers factor in the rising cost of charging,” said Lucy Tugby, Marketing Director of eBay Motors Group.
“The increased cost of household energy bills is now front of mind for car buyers and could have a profound impact on electric adoption.
“Our research identifies how 44% of buyers need to change their car now out of necessity because their vehicles are getting old; the requirement for greater fuel efficiency, or a desire to switch to electric, are much lower on their list of priorities.
“As household budgets tighten, the challenge for dealers will be to source and stock the fuel types that customers will gravitate towards once they’ve weighed up the financial pros and cons of going electric. Our research shows that while the intent to switch to electric and hybrid remains strong, there is still plenty of fuel in the tank for petrol and diesel,” said Tugby.
The eBay Motors Group Consumer Insight Panel study was conducted last month by Insight Advantage, the independent market research firm, and polled the views of over 2,000 new and used car buyers across the UK. It has been tracking consumer trends since 2018.