The ban on petrol and diesel cars set for 2030 might be anticipated earlier as a green think tank predicts that British motorists will halt their purchases of internal combustion engine vehicles in 2028/29. New AutoMotive, a forward-thinking research organization, suggests this shift based on its data analysis of vehicle registrations and evolving trends. However, industry experts raise questions about the current sales landscape and the true appetite for electric vehicles (EVs) among private buyers.
Accelerating EV Adoption
New AutoMotive’s Electric Car Count (ECC) report examines present registrations and patterns to project the trajectory of EV demand. Recent data indicates an 8 percentage point drop in petrol car registrations in July, accompanied by a staggering 90% surge in electric car sales. This is in line with the long-term decline in petrol car popularity since 2019. Notably, diesel car demand has significantly decreased from its peak in 2016. The think tank asserts that consumer preferences will virtually end the era of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2028/29.
A Lack of Available EVs: The Hurdle
Ben Nelmes, CEO of New AutoMotive, suggests that the absence of adequate EV options is the primary barrier deterring drivers from embracing battery-powered cars more widely. He contends that the ongoing discussion around the government’s 2030 target for banning combustion engines might become less relevant due to consumers’ growing inclination towards electric options.
Industry Voices: A Reality Check
Despite New AutoMotive’s optimism, industry insiders provide a more nuanced view. Some point out that the current surge in EV registrations is skewed by fleet and business sales driven by favorable subsidies. Private consumer demand for electric cars remains a concern due to various obstacles, including a lack of charging infrastructure and higher price points.
Growth and Challenges in the EV Landscape
The latest registration data reveals Tesla’s dominance in the EV market, with its Model Y accounting for 17% of all electric car sales. MG has also witnessed substantial growth, doubling its sales in the first seven months of 2023. However, battery-powered vans and electric motorbikes face challenges in achieving similar market share due to factors like grant reductions and infrastructure limitations.
HGVs and Policy Framework
While electric heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) show promise with a record number of registrations in July, New AutoMotive’s ECC emphasizes the need for a dedicated policy framework to sustain this momentum.
Conclusion: A Fast-Changing Landscape
The UK’s automotive landscape is undergoing a rapid transformation, driven by increasing EV adoption. New AutoMotive’s projections signal a potential acceleration in the shift away from traditional combustion engine vehicles. However, the challenges of infrastructure, pricing, and policy must be addressed to ensure a smooth transition towards a greener future on Britain’s roads.