Interest in electric cars has waned since pandemic began, studies suggest

Interest in electric cars has declined since the coronavirus pandemic hit, new research suggests.

In February, a survey of 17,628 motorists by the AA found 47 per cent would consider an electric vehicle when they next change their car.

However, new research suggests that number has dwindled since lockdown. A survey of 2,001 UK adults by USwitch in August found just 19 per cent of buyers are considering an EV, with 11 per cent expecting to buy one in the next two years.

Meanwhile, online classifieds site Autotrader said searches for electric vehicles had declined, with just four per cent looking for an EV in August compared with 16 per cent before lockdown.

However, despite the findings, sales of electric vehicles have been booming. At the end of July, there had been 8,162 EV registrations in 2020, an increase of almost 175 per cent compared with the same period in 2020 – despite dealers being forced to close for more than two months during lockdown. That represents a jump in market share from one per cent to almost five per cent.

Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at, said: “Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, and 12 million drivers could soon be swapping their petrol or diesel car for a more environmentally friendly one.

“The good news for these drivers is that EVs come with an additional financial benefit too — they cost far less to fuel than a petrol or diesel car.

“However, charging costs can vary depending on your energy tariff. If you are still on your supplier’s Standard Variable Tariff, charging your car could cost an additional £7.69 a month unless you switch to a more competitive fixed-term deal.”