Important update

Two in three consider plugging into electric vehicles

Nov 14, 2023 Insights Read time 5m
AFV charging at a charge point


Almost two in three (64%) motorists say they would consider buying an alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) as their next vehicle purchase, according to new research from Close Brothers Motor Finance. The desire to plug into electric has risen 106% compared to last year. 

The data showed that motorists would consider switching because they’re more environmentally friendly, highlighting the influence of environmental concerns on drivers’ buying habits. The government’s now-delayed 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles and the introduction of ultra-low emission zones were also found to be a driving factor for 42% and 16% respectively. 

Despite drivers’ appetite for AFVs, more than a third (36%) of drivers are still hesitant and wouldn’t consider one as their next vehicle purchase.  

Affordability continues to be concern for many, with 62% of motorists listing the initial outlay as the primary barrier. Concerns around vehicle driving range and charging infrastructure remain prevalent in halting buyers’ shift to electric vehicles (EVs) and AFVs. Two in five (44%) admit the limited driving range puts them off, and almost a third (31%) said they wouldn’t know where to charge one. 

Why drivers want to switch to electric:

  • They are more environmentally friendly - 46%
  • The 2030 ban on petrol and diesel - 42%
  • They’re cheaper to run - 32%
  • There’s a ULEZ zone being introduced where I drive - 16%
  • They deliver a better driving experience - 14%
  • As an addition to my core family car which is diesel/ petrol - 12%
  • They're fashionable - 10%
  • My friends/ family have them - 9%

Why motorists won’t consider buying an EV/AFV as their next purchase:

  • The initial cost is too expensive - 62%
  • The driving range is limited - 44%
  • They take too long to charge - 38%
  • I don't think the technology is ready - 38%
  • I don't know where to charge it - 31%
  • It's too much hassle - 26%
  • Because there's not enough choice of vehicles on the market – 18%

Lisa Watson, Director of Sales at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said: “There’s a clear desire for people to switch to electric vehicles for various reasons – whether that’s to be environmentally conscious, overall cost, or wanting a better driving experience. However, confusion combined with a lack of infrastructure and high upfront costs continue to act as barriers to EV adoption. 

“With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to wreak havoc and an unpredictable political landscape, consumers have increasingly mixed feelings about stepping outside the comfort zone of traditional vehicle types. 

“There’s a need to ensure motorists have the necessary knowledge and information about the vehicles and services on the market to help support informed buying decisions. Similarly, to facilitate increasing the number of EVs and AFVs on the roads, infrastructure investment is crucial to ensure drivers are comfortable with knowing where they can charge their cars. 

“With the push back of the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles, this should allow more AFVs to come into the used market, making them more affordable and accessible for consumers leading up to the 2035 ban. In the meantime, for dealers, utilising all insight and tools available to meet future demand and accommodate an eventual transition will be crucial.”