Drivers vow to never buy an electric vehicle after Rishi Sunak's petrol and diesel car ban delay

An electric car charging

More than a third of drivers said they would never buy an electric vehicle

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 26/09/2023

- 09:04

Experts have called the decision to delay the ban on new car sales 'deeply unhelpful'

New research has found a significant jump in the number of people who said they would never buy an electric vehicle.

Around 37 per cent of car buyers said they are unlikely to ever buy an electric car, with that number almost doubling compared to 2021.

When the Government unveiled the initial plan to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel sales two years ago, only 21 per cent of people said they wouldn’t buy an EV.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that the ban would be delayed for five years, that number has grown massively.

WATCH NOW: Expert comments on electric cars

Rishi Sunak said the majority of cars sold in 2030 will be electric and highlighted the falling costs, improving range and better access to chargers.

However, the Prime Minister said drivers should be able to choose what car they buy and when they make that decision, adding that they should not be forced into buying a vehicle by the Government.

The proportion of people who say they will buy an EV by 2035 has also fallen down from 49 per cent in 2021 to just 39 per cent now.

The Government net zero U-turn has also added further confusion to policy, with seven in 10 drivers not realising that the ban applies to new cars only.

Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader, said more motorists would be confused now there is less urgency in the pledge to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

He added: “The Government’s U-turn has clearly muddled the message on electric vehicles and this confusion has led to a doubling of the number of people saying they’ll never buy an electric car.

“The Government’s decision to push the deadline back to 2035 is deeply unhelpful because of the doubt and negativity it spreads.

“But regardless of the date of the ban, the broader industry is committed to delivering an electric future.”

Data from Auto Trader shows that advert views for new and used electric cars remains stable despite changing consumer intentions.

While interest in electric cars retains its popularity, Auto Trader is warning that mass adoption of EVs will be affected in the long term.

Many experts have also pointed to the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate, which the Government has confirmed will still go ahead.

It forces car manufacturers to ensure a certain proportion of vehicles produced are electric, starting from 22 per cent in 2024.

This number will slowly rise until EV production is at 80 per cent in 2030 and finally 100 per cent in 2035.

Manufacturers could be impacted by the change, with potential fines of up to £15,000 per vehicle if they miss the targets.


An electric car charging

Some drivers remain confused about what the ban will include


The Government is expected to publish results from a consultation later this year, which will set out the terms and conditions of the mandate.

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