Fuel shortages to spark EV surge?

Published:  27 September, 2021

The current fuel shortages being caused by panic-buying across the UK have been cited as a reason for 19% of motorists spoken to for a new survey being more likely to buy an electric car next time.

The research, performed by digital garage Regit asked 7,000 UK drivers about their opinions on the current situation. 71% blame people panic buying for the shortages at forecourts, and 63% believe media coverage is a major factor. Only 8% said COVID-19 was a contributing cause. 31% said they have been unable to buy fuel in the last seven days despite needing to and 15% have admitted to panic buying fuel despite not needing to. 45% admitted experiencing some anxiety.

64% said the Prime Minister should do more to fix the crisis, while 35% want fuel companies to act, with 29% urging HGV companies to do more. 86% of believe it is unfair that people have been allowed to stockpile fuel via the filling of cans.

Commenting on the situation, Regit founder and CCO Chris Green, said: “It’s clear that our motorists are essentially blaming panic buyers themselves and the hysteria some media outlets have created as the primary source of the fuel crisis. I’m sure those opposed to Boris Johnson and Brexit will feel an added sense of frustration here.

“However, as we saw with toilet roll back in the first lockdown, there is no doubt that scenarios like this simply snowball and ultimately pleas from key figures in government to urge people not to panic buy will likely have the opposite effect.”

While the desire for EVs is there, the infrastructure to support a major shift may not be, as Chris observed: “With almost 20% saying this crisis would make it more likely they make the switch to electric vehicles for their next car, it’s scandalous that an opportunity of this size to help reduce emissions will not be able to be taken as a result of the distinct lack of infrastructure for millions of motorists around the country.”

He added: “ The fact of the matter still stands that, if you don’t have private off-street parking, an electric vehicle simply isn’t attainable and decision makers from all parties across the country are seemingly blissfully ignorant of that fact.”

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