Electric vehicle sales could overtake petrol and diesel in just four years

Sales of electrified vehicles could outstrip those of petrol and diesel models by 2025, according to new analysis.

Furthermore, sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) such as hybrids could get there a year sooner.

The prediction comes from online classifieds site AutoTrader, which looked at the current rate of electric vehicle adoption compared with diesel sales dropping at a consistent rate to zero by 2026, and petrol sales dropping to zero when the internal combustion engine (ICE) sales ban comes in from 2030.

Nissan LEAF Charging
Nissan LEAF Charging

AutoTrader says electric vehicles will account for 10 per cent of the cars on UK roads by 2025, while AFVs will account for 18 per cent. By the time of the ICE ban in 2030, it could be 30 and 40 per cent respectively.

The numbers are somewhat backed up by an apparent increase in appetite for electric vehicles too, though the pool of respondents is small. A survey of 600 consumers through the AutoTrader website found 24 per cent are considering an AFV, up from 16 per cent in November 2020.

A more accurate indication is the fact that searches and advert views for EVs increased by 93 per cent year-on-year in November 2020, falling to 78 per cent by December. For context, demand for petrol vehicles increased just 0.6 per cent, while diesel went down 7.7 per cent.

The site’s demographic analysis also showed that those looking to buy EVs are older and more affluent than the typical buyer.

Auto Trader’s commercial director Ian Plummer said: “We’ve based our projections quite conservatively on the current trajectory of AFVs and ICE vehicles in the market, as well as the trends we’re observing on our marketplace.

“Over the last few years we’ve seen consumer sentiment towards electric grow steadily, and whilst conversion from consideration to purchase remains relatively low, it is accelerating as the latest models become ever more attractive, while aspirational brands like Tesla help shift consumer perception.

“When they become more affordable and the required infrastructure improves, we’re confident we’ll see adoption levels increase significantly and rapidly.”