The proportion of U.K. car buyers who say they will never buy an EV has nearly doubled following the U.K. government’s U-turn on the date of the ban of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, according to new data from Auto Trader.

The U.K. government pushed back the ban from 2030 to 2035 last week, which, according to Auto Trader has added to public confusion over government policy, with seven out of ten of Auto Trader’s on-site users not realising the policy relates to new cars only.

Auto Trader found in a recent survey that 37% of car buyers now say they are unlikely to ever buy an EV, up from 21% when the 2030 ban was first announced in 2021. Respondents who say they will buy an EV by 2023 is now at 39%, down from 49% in 2021.

However, despite the change in views, Auto Trader said that the share of advert views for new and used EVs on its website remained at about 4.3% in the week commencing September 18.

“The government’s U-turn has clearly muddled the message on electric vehicles and this confusion has led to a doubling of the number of people saying they’ll never buy an electric car,” said Auto Trader commercial director Ian Plummer.

“The government’s decision to push the deadline back to 2035 is deeply unhelpful because of the doubt and negativity it spreads – but regardless of the date of the ban, the broader industry is committed to delivering an electric future.”

Earlier this month Auto Trader launched an EV hub for dealers.


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