Despite strong sales growth in the electric vehicle (EV) sector, more needs to be done to encourage consumers to buy electric ahead of the 2030 ban on internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

This is the view of Cox Automotive, which highlighted that the Tesla Model 3 was the UK’s overall bestselling vehicle in June, with 5,468 units sold. However, this is against the backdrop of an automotive market that stood at just 186,000 units sold, down almost 16% from seasonal norms. According to Cox Automotive, while progress towards the adoption of EVs is improving, more must be done if manufacturers and dealerships are to meet clean air targets.

Philip Nothard, insight and strategy director at Cox Automotive, said: “While the EV segment is undoubtedly growing fast, this is against an overall reduction in new vehicle sales. Some major barriers still stand in the way of mass EV purchasing, including range anxieties and concerns around the high cost of new EVs.  Many motorists still need more convincing to go electric, along with better financial incentives and information, if we are going to be ready for the switch to electric new vehicles by 2030.”

While uptake remains relatively low, appetite for EV ownership is certainly growing. A recent consumer survey by automotive data specialists firm Regit, in partnership with Cox Automotive, found that more than half (56%) of drivers would consider an EV for their next vehicle purchase.

This is backed up by data from Auto Trader showing that there is an increased demand for electric vehicles across both new and used vehicles.

However, the survey also revealed that a worrying 92% raised concerns about the current charging infrastructure and the cost of new EVs (72%).

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Similar challenges also exist in the used vehicle market. The survey found that only 45% of drivers would consider buying a used electric vehicle. New EVs are more attractive to consumers than nearly new models due to the incentives. These include personal contract purchase (PCP) plans that include manufacturer deposits and the government’s ‘plug-in car grant’ (PiCG), often making ownership costs lower than buying a nearly new used EV.

Chris Green, Regit chief commercial officer and founder said: “UK motorists are becoming increasingly aware of EVs and their benefits. The fact more are considering them as their next car purchase shows a shift in attitude and awareness. However, there is more work to be done to convert consumers from considerers to purchasers, whether it be from the manufacturer, motor traders or the UK government.”

Regit found that 79% of consumers consider emissions an important factor in their choice of new vehicle, while 64% welcome the introduction of clean air zones. Nothard believes that the current sustainability movement, if backed by the right government incentives and supported by more information about EVs by dealerships and manufacturers, could accelerate EV purchases and make a difference when it comes to phasing out new ICE sales.