2 in 3 Brits want to lead more sustainable lifestyle, claims study

Electric Vehicles, News
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New research released today by Auto Trader reveals that nearly two thirds (63%) of Brits are embracing their inner eco-warrior and focusing on leading a more sustainable lifestyle, as a result of the pandemic.

As part of this lockdown-inspired eco-enthusiasm, one in five Brits (21%) is planning to stop fuelling around with petrol and diesel cars and is instead considering purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) or alternative fuel vehicle (AFV). Auto Trader has also revealed that 60% of its customers who don’t currently own an EV/AFV think they will own one within the next five years.

However, opting for more sustainable lifestyle choices goes beyond just changing our cars. Lockdown has planted a plant-based seed in the minds of Brits, as a third (30%) of respondents are considering flexitarianism by eating less meat. Furthermore, 29% of the UK are set to become self-styled farmers by ploughing ahead and growing their own produce.

Almost a quarter (24%) feel more grounded after living through Covid restrictions and are planning to fly less. The sustainable commitments Brits are strongly considering post lockdown include:

  • Buy an electric vehicle / alternative fuel vehicle (21%)
  • Eat less meat (30%)
  • Fly less (24%)
  • Grow their own produce (29%)
  • Use renewable energy (31%)
  • Go paperless (37%)

Many Brits in the market for an electric car will be counting down the days until forecourts reopen on 5th April (Scotland) and 12th April (England and Wales), as 60% of the 2,000 Brits surveyed say they would not make the leap to purchase their first electric or alternative fuel vehicle without first seeing it in real life.

Research by the European Energy Agency found that, even with electricity generation, the carbon emissions of an electric car are around 17 – 30% lower than driving a petrol or diesel car. And while electric cars are generally more expensive to purchase than petrol models – the average EV hatchback is around £11,000 more expensive than the average petrol hatchback – EVs are much cheaper to run.

The fuel cost to drive an electric car 100 miles is around £5-8, whereas in a diesel or petrol car it would cost between £14 and £17. What’s more, Auto Trader has seen a five-fold rise in used electric cars, so before long there should be electric/alternative fuel vehicle options for drivers of all budgets.

Says Erin Baker, Editorial Director at Auto Trader: 

“In two years, we’ve seen three times the number of consumers view electric vehicle adverts, and one in seven visitors to Auto Trader now look at an electric vehicle.

“The imposed extra time at home has meant potential car buyers have had more time to do their research on electric and debunk myths, particularly around range anxiety. Additionally, not being able to spend on holidays and other big purchases means some have more disposable income, making the price point more palatable despite the government’s recent cuts to electric grants.

“As we near the end of lockdown we predict that this trend will continue as the environment and overall sustainability remains high on the public agenda. The range of new electric cars on our site has risen by 74% since 2019 and with more car brands releasing electric vehicle models, higher competition among brands is likely to lead to greater accessibility.”

Chris Price
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