One in five car buyers to go electric for their car purchase, finds eBay Motors Group

  • One in five expect their next car to be electric – nearly double the pre-pandemic figure
  • Rise in EV interest comes at cost of petrol, but diesel still very popular
  • eBay Motors Group survey polled 2,000 in-market buyers in November

Time 1 month ago

An electric car is potentially the next purchase for one in five car buyers, new research has found.

eBay Motors Group says the percentage of car buyers saying their next car will be an EV has almost doubled since the beginning of the pandemic.

In March 2020, 12 per cent of people said they’d be buying an EV next time around, while last month this rose to a fifth (21 per cent) in a survey of 2,000 buyers.

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The accelerated increase in consumers keen to purchase an EV has been achieved at the expense of petrol, which fell by 15 percentage points from around half of all buyers (49 per cent) to just over a third (34 per cent), said the firm.

Moreover, diesel was 16 per cent down – just one percentage point since March 2020, suggesting that the benefits of diesel, such as range for motorway driving, were still not fully satisfied by EVs and hybrids.

Drilling down into the research, more than half (51 per cent) of male buyers said they expect their next car to be an EV or hybrid, closely followed by 47 per cent of women.

Around a quarter of men (24 per cent) now plan to totally go EV, a notable jump from just 11 per cent in March 2020, with hybrids growing at a slower rate from 24 per cent to 27 per cent.

However, the opposite is true for female buyers, where the appetite for hybrid vehicles has increased from 21 per cent to 29 per cent, growing at a faster rate than EVs, which was up from 13 per cent to 18 per cent.

Overall, the increase in appetite for EVs is driven by older buyers aged 35 to 64.

Income is also identified as an important factor influencing the transition from internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, with higher-income households naturally more able and prepared to make the higher investment required.

Dermot Kelleher, head of marketing and research at eBay Motors Group, said: ‘Consumers are giving more serious consideration to EVs and hybrids than ever before and our research identifies how it is largely at the expense of petrol.

‘We believe this year’s fuel shortages, rising pump prices and even Cop26 are influencing choices right now, in particular for those who previously would have defaulted to petrol cars.

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‘Conversely, the demand for diesel vehicles has been stable over the last 20 months, indicating a remaining consumer segment whose lifestyle dictates the need for fuel-efficient vehicles capable of long-range journeys.

‘Dealers planning their stock mix can now factor in that male and female buyers are fairly evenly committed to making the switch from ICE, with both currently favouring hybrids.

‘However, it’s also worth considering that the biggest growth by gender shows around a quarter of men now saying their next car will be an EV, and we expect this figure to increase.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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