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Electric cars are now the ‘first choice’ for UK drivers.


Electric cars are now the ‘first choice’ for UK drivers. Subscribe to Electric Vehicle News Bitesize Podcast for FREE!

The UK’s move towards mainstream electric vehicles is rapidly accelerating, with annual sales of electric vehicles rising tenfold in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Research by Volkswagen Financial Services UK shows that from July 2019 to July 2022, annual electric vehicle (Battery Electric Vehicle, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, Hybrid Electric Vehicle) financing cases increased by 1,062%. Electric vehicles financed by auto finance companies increased from 1 percent of all its vehicles in 2019 to 7 percent this year.

These trends become even more impressive when looking at the volatility of the auto industry.

Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic and semiconductor shortages have all hit manufacturing.

VWFS UK has also topped Newcastle-upon-Tyne as the country’s biggest Electric Vehicle hotspot, with the north-eastern city seeing more Electric Vehicle financings than anywhere else in the UK by 2022.

Rounding out the top five are Southampton, Guildford, Reading and Northern Ireland.

Research also shows that drivers are now investing more in green technology and environmentally friendly transportation options.

Recent research shows that three in 10 Britons say their dream car has switched from petrol or diesel to electric since the pandemic.

People are also more likely to buy an electric vehicle (26%) now than to use public transportation (24%) or buy a gasoline or diesel car (19%) compared to before the pandemic.

Commenting on the figures, former Top Gear host and FairCharge founder Quentin Wilson said energy prices must remain affordable to ensure adoption remains high.

He said: “We’ve seen an explosion in EVs in the last two years and in the next four or five years electric cars will become the preferred choice for many.

“There are many EVs that now do 200 to 280 miles on a single charge and batteries in some of the earliest EVs are outlasting the chassis of the car.

“Just look at our roads and you’ll see that hundreds of thousands of Electric Vehicle drivers have folded electric cars into their lives and successfully use them without anxieties.

“The main priority for me as founder FairCharge is to lobby the Government to establish a Charging Charter, which regulates fair costs, a fair experience, fair connectivity and fair reliability across the charging network.

“I’ve had talks with Grant Shapps, the former Secretary of State for Transport – an Electric Vehicle driver and enthusiast like me – and he agrees we need to offer new Electric Vehicle drivers the best charging experience and most affordable charging costs possible.”

Volkswagen Financial Services UK also reported its most popular Electric Vehicle model for 2022, with the Volkswagen ID3 raising more financing cases than any other Electric Vehicle that year, followed by the Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron and Volkswagen ID4 and the Audi Q4 e-tron.

The data also shows how much driving habits have changed over the past two years.

Research shows that since January 2021, four in 10 people have not driven to work at all, while 87% drive less than 10,000 miles of recreational driving per year.

Darren Braybrook, Commercial Development Manager at Volkswagen Financial Services UK, said: “The UK’s electric car market is in overdrive right now and the rapid acceleration of demand for electromobility is really exciting.

“However, we haven’t yet reached a critical mass of Battery Electric Vehicle adoption, where we see the cost of acquiring an electric vehicle come down quickly.

“Affordability is a key issue that the wider industry is working hard to improve as we know that cost is the primary barrier to Electric Vehicle adoption.

“That in itself is a positive challenge as it means that consumers are already convinced of the benefits of going green, we just need to help customers have better access to these vehicles.”

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