Diesel buyers could be spearheading the switch to electric vehicles

The switch towards electric vehicles is being driven by those traditional searching for diesel cars, according to new data.

Online car marketplace BuyaCar.co.uk has analysed hundreds of thousands of searches where buyers specified the type of fuel they were looking for, and found EV searches are eating into those for diesel.

Over the same period, petrol searches remained at a consistent level while EVs increased in line with a decrease for diesel. This suggests petrol buyers are less inclined to be looking to switch to electric.

BuyaCar says search trends tend to be fairly inconsistent, with spikes coming from big news stories, such as when the Government confirmed petrol and diesel car sales would be phased out from 2030.

However, over the past year search quantities have evened out, giving a clearer picture of how buying intent is evolving. As EV searches have increased, hybrid searches have gone the same way.

Electric vehicles searches still remain quite low, at about 6.6 per cent and 7.6 per cent in Q1 and Q2 this year. So far in Q3, EV searches have risen again to 8.7 per cent.

Christofer Lloyd, editor of BuyaCar.co.uk, said: “What is perhaps most interesting about these figures is the implication that while petrol is holding steady in the minds of car buyers, the increase in EV-curiosity is coming at the expense of diesel in particular, rather than across the board.

“While EVs remain a niche area in the mass market for cars, these figures do indicate that they are increasingly at the forefront of buyers’ minds during at least the research phase when they are looking to change their car.”