USED car buyer interest in electric vehicles (EVs) has risen by about a third since May, research from the latest Startline Used Car Tracker shows.
Each month, the research asks consumers about their used car fuel preference and for September, 23% have opted for electric, increasing from 17% five months ago, when the question was first asked.
Asked the reasons why they would opt for an EV, 57% agreed with the statement “it is the future” while 38% said “it is right for the environment.” However, only 4% believe that “electric vehicles are now affordable.”
At the same time that preference for electric has been increasing, it has been falling away for petrol, according to Startline’s research, with a fall since May from 39% to 33%. However, diesel has remained consistent at 18% and hybrid the same at 27%.
Among those who opted for petrol and diesel, trust in internal combustion engine technology appears to be a key factor, named by 52%. Also, 38% agree that “electric vehicles are too expensive” to currently consider.
Paul Burgess, Chief Executive at Startline Motor Finance, said: “Obviously, we expect to see interest in EVs increase over time because it is the long term direction in which the market is heading. However, it is interesting to see how consumer sentiment is shifting on an almost month-by-month basis in the Tracker.
“You can see a fairly rapid change in perceptions of both the cost of EVs and the technology behind them. How these are translating into actual used EV sales is difficult to say. Supply of these vehicles is even more constrained than the rest of the used car market and whatever EVs dealers can get hold of, they can sell.
“What our finding perhaps does suggest is that there is growing interest for the future and when used EV supply does start to improve, the demand should be there to support it.”
The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, well-known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs. This month, 300 consumers and 55 dealers were questioned.
Founded nine years ago, Startline is a flexible motor finance specialist and employs 170 people at its Glasgow headquarters. It works with around half of the UK’s top 50 franchise dealers by turnover as well as 70% of the top 50 independent car retailers, and currently accounts for more than 2% of the UK used car motor finance sector by volume.