With the UK in the midst of a fuel crisis, pumps at forecourts across the country have been running dry and drivers have been struggling to fill their tanks. While the government and experts insist that the crisis is only temporary, it has had an impact on the popularity of electric vehicles. The market share of such vehicles is now expected to rise significantly by Christmas.
Here is the lowdown.
What’s behind the current fuel crisis?
The key issue is a shortage of lorry drivers to deliver fuel to forecourts.
News of empty petrol stations has led to panic-buying among motorists, and this has resulted in the depletion of fuel stocks at many stations, which has only exacerbated the shortage.
Some petrol stations have been forced to impose purchasing restrictions and some have closed entirely.
What is the effect of the fuel crisis on the market share of electric vehicles?
This year, three out of every twenty cars sold in the UK have been electric. According to Norton Finance, current events are expected to increase the market share of electric vehicles by a third before Christmas. They anticipate that by the end of the year, one out of every five vehicles sold will be electric.
This prediction is bolstered by a significant increase in online searches for EVs. On 24 September, the date that news of fuel shortages spread across the UK, Carguide.co.uk found that online searches for electric vehicles rose by 1600%.
Car marketplace Autotrader reported huge surges in not only the number of views for electric vehicle ads, but also in the number of direct customer enquiries for these cars. According to Ian Plummer, Autotrader’s commercial director, this suggests that “people aren’t simply flirting with the idea of electric but have been encouraged to actively pursue a purchase”.
Why buy an electric vehicle?
According to Norton the top reasons to consider buying an electric vehicle are:
- No carbon emissions. Since electric vehicles don’t require fossil fuels, they typically have a smaller carbon footprint.
- Lower running costs. Electric vehicles in the UK are estimated to cost an average of £106 less per year (£1,492 over lifetime ownership) to run when compared to their petrol and diesel counterparts.
- Convenience. With electric vehicles, you don’t have to worry about events like fuel shortages. Plus, you can even charge your car at home if you wish.
- Congestion charge exemption. If you drive in London and your vehicle is fully electric, you don’t have to pay the congestion charge.
- Performance. When it comes to electric vehicles, there are a lot of exciting technological developments, such as smooth instant acceleration, that are improving performance.
Are there any cons to having an electric vehicle?
Electric vehicles have a shorter range than petrol- or diesel-powered cars. Recharging them is a relatively slow process, and finding a charging point can be difficult at times. This is especially true if you live away from a major urban centre.
Electric vehicles can also be more expensive to insure than normal cars. That being said, recent data shows that this cost gap is reducing. Still, it’s a good idea to compare car insurance quotes from various providers to improve your chances of getting a good deal on your electric vehicle.
How can you finance an electric vehicle?
There are numerous viable options here.
For example, Norton Finance suggests that if you have a good credit score, then you should be able to get a good rate on an unsecured personal loan. And if you like to upgrade your car every few years, then a personal contract plan (PCP) can be an excellent way to finance your car. Other options include hire purchase and personal leasing.
Ultimately, the best option will depend on your needs and personal financial circumstances. So do your homework to determine which approach makes the most sense for you.
Some offers on The Motley Fool UK site are from our partners — it’s how we make money and keep this site going. But does that impact our ratings? Nope. Our commitment is to you. If a product isn’t any good, our rating will reflect that, or we won’t list it at all. Also, while we aim to feature the best products available, we do not review every product on the market. Learn more here. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, and Tesco.