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25 September 23 Press releases

Significant jump in number of people saying they’ll never buy an electric car


  • The number of people claiming they’ll never buy an EV has nearly doubled, on the back of the government’s U-turn last week which will delay the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to 2035
  • According to a recent survey by Auto Trader, 37% of car buyers say they’re unlikely to ever buy an EV, significantly up from 21% when the 2030 ban was originally announced in 2021
  • Meanwhile, those saying they will buy an EV by 2035 is now at 39% , down from 49% of respondents saying they would buy an EV by 2030 in 2021
  • U-turn further adds to public confusion over government policy, with 7 in 10 on-site users not realising the policy relates to new cars only
  • Although some consumers are turned off electric, the share of ad views for new and used electric cars on Auto Trader has stayed stable at circa 4.3% over the last week



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. 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.

Key spokesperson

Ian Plummer

Commercial Director


Advert views for new and used electric cars remain stable on Auto Trader, showing that those in the market haven’t been deterred. Yet these survey results show that in the long term, mass electric adoption has been made a trickier task.

There are many positives to owning an electric car - from saving money on your running costs to never visiting a petrol station again – which are being completely ignored. In fact, demand for used electric cars on our marketplace is at record levels, owing to a greater level of supply in the market coupled with a softening in prices. Buying a used EV will probably be most people’s entry point into an electric car, given the used market is three times the size of the new car market.

The truth is, with the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate still in place, very little will actually change in the wake of the delayed ban and so the only real impact will be dented consumer confidence in electric cars, as demonstrated by our survey results.


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