New forecasting research, based on analysis of trends revealed in Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) sales data, predicts that electric car sales will surpass those of diesel in July 2020.
Diesel cars have continuously slumped following the VW emission scandal last year and the government announcement that they will be banned by 2040. With Nissan and Toyota stating that they will begin phasing out diesel cars from 2021 and latest data showing that sales have fallen by 37.2% over the last year, it appears the end could be near for the fuel type. Meanwhile the Government is introducing policies to support the growth of the Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFV’s) market and sales of electric cars increased by 5.7% last year.
The analysis was conducted by car leasing company, Leasing Options, who have seen increasing interest in electric cars. They also surveyed 2,000 drivers to find out more about people’s attitudes to electric and diesel cars.
More than half of those surveyed (56%) stated that they are less likely to buy a diesel car today compared to five years ago, with nearly half (47%) saying they believe diesel cars are a danger to the environment.
One of the top reasons people stated for their interest in electric cars was that they felt it would help the environment to go electric (48%).
Half (50%) stated that if cost and convenience were the same, they would prefer to drive an electric car over a petrol or diesel and 54% would purchase an electric car if it became the norm.
However, the poll revealed that there’s still a lot of hesitancy when it comes buying electric cars as more than half (53%) confess that they don’t know enough about them to buy one. A further 63% admit that they feel that the cars are out of their price bracket and 74% say they are concerned they won’t be able to find charging points.
Yet data shows that electric cars are not as expensive to run as people may think and those purchasing an electric car may be entitled to a grant of £5,000 in the UK.
Josephine Spencer, a Senior project planner from Leeds owns both an electric and a diesel car. When speaking about the pros and cons of owning both types of car, she said: “The electric is quieter and much quicker at slow speeds than diesel and there are some nice little features on the electric such as preheating and cooling so you don’t need to defrost the car or have to get in a baking car in the summer. It’s also cheap to run if you’re charging at home as I spend £10 a month in electric compared to £60 per month commuting in my diesel car.”
When it came to comparing which car was better for long journeys, Josephine said: “In the electric car, long journeys are possible, but do require more planning as you need to think about where to charge up. The best way is to read reviews online as they often state how reliable they are.”
Commenting on the government’s initiative to ban diesel cars by 2040, she said:“The government’s trying to reduce environmental impact is definitely a good thing, but investment is needed to go fully electric as the average motorway services only has two charge points and the national grid would need to be able to handle it.”