Who buys an EV in the UK?

By the end of 2017 half a million motorists across Europe will be driving electric or plug-in hybrids. The UK has the third largest fleet of electric cars in Europe with more than 100,000 electric and plug-in vehicles registered as at March 2017. Last year the UK ranked as the second best-selling European market which led us at EV Experts to thinking about who is leading the switch to electric.

We help consumers and businesses choose and buy EVs and over the last few months we’ve seen demand accelerate – but who’s buying them? Our analysis is part quantitative and part qualitative. It’s based on our sales of pure electric and plug-in hybrids together with a view of what is going on generally in the world. We have found three distinct motivators of consumer demand.

Early Adopters – EVs are being purchased by those who crave originality and newness. They like the innovation, freshness of design and being different – their neighbours are unlikely to have one (yet). It’s not just the technology that appeals to this sector – these people love cars. They were typically the first to buy a hot hatch, a 4×4, a crossover and now they’re enjoying an EV. These customers are the cool kids of the automotive world.

Value Driven – EVs cost a lot less to run than conventional internal combustion engine cars. To fuel one up is a couple of pounds, not fifty. The UK Government is subsidising the installation of home fast-charging units which will fully charge an EV in 3-4 hours. And then there’s the additional attraction of zero road tax and reduced servicing bills. These customers, often families who embark on lots of short journeys, recognise that running a long-range petrol or diesel car on a school run doesn’t make economic sense.

Eco-Aware – The appeal of Zero Emission motoring is strong to many consumers. They understand that local air pollution affects them and that poor air quality is the greatest environmental risk to public health in the UK. Pollutants from diesel and petrol cars are proven to exacerbate respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, especially for the elderly and infants. These customers know that they can make a difference by replacing their internal combustion engine car with an Electric Vehicle.

Generally, we find that our customers are not driven by one motivator alone but have a mix of aspirations and concerns. Whatever your reason is to switch to electric we know that there is the perfect EV or PHEV out there for your lifestyle and we would love to help you find it.