Demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is falling amid the cost-of-living crisis and doubts about the Government’s electrification ambitions, new figures show.
Auto Trader said EVs accounted for fewer than a fifth (19%) of new car inquiries sent to retailers through its online marketplace last month.
That is down from 27% in June.
The company also reported that the number of searches and advert views for used cars has fallen by 13% in the past 12 months.
That is the first year-on-year decline since April 2020, shortly after the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Auto Trader noted that the fall in demand for EVs coincides with rising energy prices, petrol and diesel prices softening, and concerns about Government policy over EVs.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced last month that new zero-emission cars will no longer be exempt from vehicle excise duty from April 2025.
Sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in the UK will be banned from 2030. John Walton
Auto Trader has pushed back its forecast for when EVs will account for 50% of new car sales from 2026 to 2027.
Editorial director Erin Baker said: “Although current sales figures look positive, the rapid decline in consumer appetite for electric vehicles reveals the market is on thin ice where mass electric adoption is concerned.
“And with the forecast of new car electric sales reaching 50% being pushed back to 2027, the market faces a precarious combination of factors which could cause major potholes on the road to 2030 without further action from Government and industry to encourage mass adoption.
“There are some positive signs with running costs still in EVs’ favour and more affordable models in the pipeline, particularly those from Asia.
“But today’s slowdown in demand for EVs translate into lower sales as we enter 2023.”
Separate figures issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed plug-in cars such as pure electrics and plug-in hybrids accounted for 28% of the new car market last month.
Sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in the UK will be banned from 2030.