Electric car chargingElectric car charging


Huge rise in energy prices putting off buyers switching to electric vehicles

  • What Car? survey reveals car buyers are being turned off electric
  • Third of those surveyed said energy prices have put them off making switch
  • Attitudes towards EVs changing as energy price cap set to increase 

Time 7:04 am, September 21, 2022

The rapid rise in electricity prices is putting off car buyers from choosing an electric vehicle.

After years of surging popularity, the energy crisis is making consumers think twice about buying an electric vehicle.

What Car? surveyed 1,546 car buyers and asked whether their attitudes to electric cars have changed in light of the price cap rising for the second time in October.

Of those surveyed, 33 per cent said rising electricity prices had put them off considering an EV as their next car.

Of the electric car buyers surveyed by What Car?, more than a quarter (26.5%) admitted the rising electricity costs have changed the type of electric car they will be buying. 

Nearly a third (31.9%) of those buying a different EV than they initially intended said they were looking for a cheaper model, while 30.6 per cent said they were planning on buying a different brand altogether.

Some 20.6 per cent were now in the market for a used electric car instead of a new EV.

Editor Steve Huntingford said: ‘This data proves the reality of rising energy costs and the bleak long-term view for our energy security – and the impact of that on energy prices – causing significant numbers of would-be electric car buyers to pause. 

‘For the government and car makers that is a huge problem if they are really committed to the transition and pursuing net zero goals.’

Huntingford said that with the market transitioning towards EVs, a lump in demand is a ‘potential disaster’.

He said: ‘For an industry that is going to be increasingly regulated to sell electric cars from 2024, and which has invested billions in developing hugely desirable electric vehicles, any slump in demand is a potential disaster, especially when coupled to the anticipated recession that has already taken much of the heat out of the new car market. 

‘It must be remembered too that any decline in demand now will also undermine the development of a more affordable used car market for electric cars in future years.’

The What Car? editor believes the government should incentivise car buyers into switching to EV especially if they’re to meet their ambitious targets.

He added: ‘For the Government it is crunch time – it has set the goal of a 2030 ban on purely combustion engined cars without laying out a clear plan of how to get there. 

‘Introducing mandates in isolation and forcing the change is not enough – a clearly thought-out strategy, including support to encourage consumers to make the switch with confidence, is going to be crucial if momentum is to be maintained and the planet protected.’

The government has announced the energy price cap will be £2,500 annually for the next two years.

This will fall to £2,100 for 2022/2023 because all households will also benefit from the a £400 rebate previously announced by the government.

Although lower than what was forecast had the price cap not been adjusted by the government, the costs are still far higher than the £1,277 cap consumers were paying before April.

The price cap is on how much energy firms can charge per unit of energy and households that consume more – like electric car owners – will likely have to pay more.

Huntingford added: ‘The big selling point for electric vehicles has been their lower running costs.

‘While this is still true, rising energy prices are cutting into the potential savings and making some question the switch. 

‘Electric vehicles have been one of the great success stories for the automotive industry in recent years and its important rising energy costs do not offset the work done so far.’

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

More stories...

Motors Advert
Server 108