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Ninety per cent of EV owners say they’ll never go back to petrol or diesel, new research finds

  • Decision to buy electric motivated by green credentials and low running costs, according to What Car? poll
  • Lower environmental impact, better tech and more enjoyable driving experience given as reasons to stick with EVs
  • Of the 10 per cent considering return to petrol and diesel, better range was cited by 51 per cent

Time 1 month ago

Ninety per cent of EV owners can’t see themselves ever going back to diesel or petrol cars.

That’s according to research published today (Aug 4) by What Car?

A poll of 563 electric and plug-in hybrid owners about their purchase decisions revealed that nine out of 10 of them don’t envisage owning a petrol or diesel car again.


Sixty-five per cent said EVs were better for the environment, and 62 per cent said the tech and cars would only improve so there was no reason to switch back.

Lower running costs were highlighted by 56 per cent of owners, while half said they believed EVs were better to drive.

Meanwhile, the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars was cited by 36 per cent for not switching back.

Of the 10 per cent who said they were thinking of going back to petrol or diesel, having a vehicle with better range was given as the main reason by 51 per cent of respondents.


The need to own a cheaper car was uppermost in the minds of one-fifth, while 15 per cent said they believed petrol and diesel technology would improve, making them more sustainable.

The study also asked electric and plug-in hybrid owners why they chose their vehicle in the first place, with 65 per cent saying they wanted car that was better for the environment.

Nearly half – 48 per cent – also cited lower running costs, while the new technology aspect appealed to 43 per cent. Tax savings were cited by just over a quarter – 26 per cent – of owners.

According to the SMMT, electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales made up nearly 15 per cent of the new car market so far in 2021.

Rachael Prasher, managing director of What Car?, said: ‘With new electric and plug-in models arriving in showrooms nearly every month, it’s no surprise to see electric vehicles growing in popularity.

‘The vast majority of electric owners no longer seeing themselves owning a petrol or diesel car in the future is a testament to the quality and capability of modern electric cars on sale today.

‘As the average range of a new electric car improves over time, it’s likely the share of electric car owners wanting a petrol or diesel car in the future will only diminish.

‘The research also serves as a strong indicator of consumer tastes, with potential buyers highlighting the need for strong environmental credentials as well as low running costs.’

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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