Leasing enquiries for electric vehicles (EVs) were up 20% in the second quarter of 2021, according to data from Leasing.com.

One of the main factors driving this shift is the fact that there are more affordable EV models entering the market, as seen by Hyundai replacing Mercedes-Benz as the most popular EV manufacturer for the quarter.

The relative upfront cost of EVs is often cited as a barrier to potential EV converts. Hyundai has made strides in the EV leasing market this year thanks to a strong performance from its Ioniq and Kona models.  Almost half of Ioniq enquiries were on leasing offers under £200 a month and 82% of Kona enquiries on deals between £100-£300.

Additionally, as the global semiconductor shortage continues, consumers are increasingly turning to pre-built vehicles. Some 90% and 94% of enquiries were made by consumers on in-stock versions of the Ioniq and Kona respectively.

There was also increased demand for new car leasing as the UK makes its way out of the pandemic. The total number of Leasing.com sales enquiries was up 14% in the quarter versus this time last year. However, Leasing.com’s data shows EV adoption is outpacing conventional fuel-type vehicles.   This shift is being driven by a multitude of factors, including the government’s 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, increased environmental consciousness amongst consumers and heavy investment from motor manufacturers to meet CO2 emission targets.

The figures also showed that Brits are becoming more open to EVs, driving fewer miles and becoming more money conscious when choosing new vehicles. In the second quarter of 2021, total EV enquiries overtook diesel enquiries for the first time ever.

Demand for EVs has been rising over the first half of the year and has outperformed demand for diesel models. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have risen by 27% and hybrids by 57%, but it was plugin electric hybrids that saw the biggest increase. Hybrids were up 78% compared to the first half of 2020.

Meanwhile, petrol vehicles only saw 3% growth, while diesel enquiries dropped by 13%. Although petrol still made up 62% of enquiries, its popularity as a fuel type is growing at a much slower pace than that of EVs.

Paul Harrison, head of strategic partnerships at Leasing.com, said the results are reflective of broader, continuing trends: “Our Q2 EV market report reaffirms the broad trends that we are seeing in the UK automotive market this year.

“Namely, that new car EV growth is outpacing all other fuel types, that consumers and SMEs are seeking out in-stock vehicles because of ongoing supply issues and affordability is key as we emerge from the pandemic. Leasing enables new car customers to try new technologies and access available stock at an affordable monthly cost.”