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Ofgem research shows one in four consumers plan to buy EV in next five years and 48% of UK drivers favour a scrappage scheme

Ahead of Ofgem’s launch of its COP26 ‘green, fair future’ campaign, new research has found that almost one in four (24%) consumers plan to buy an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid in the next five years.


Ofgem research shows one in four consumers plan to buy EV in next five years and 48% of UK drivers favour a scrappage scheme feat

The Climate Change Committee anticipates around 18 million battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will be on the road by the ban on the sale of new internal combustion vehicles being introduced in 2030.

Ofgem’s research showed that:

  • Those who own electric vehicles are more open to embracing changes in how they use their energy.
  • Electric vehicle owners are three times more likely to say they are on a time of use tariff than non-owners.
  • Over half (60%) would consider smart charging of their vehicle to avoid times when electricity is most expensive.

Although many consumers intend on changing their car to an electric one, over a third (38%) said they were unlikely to get an electric vehicle in the next five years. This is due to perceived barriers like the price being too high (59%), a short battery life and/or short range (38%) and worries about having nowhere to charge their electric vehicle close to home (36%).

This research outlines some of the challenges that will be covered at Ofgem’s conference on Monday 24th May marking the start of its ‘green, fair future’ campaign, which seeks to work with international regulators to share and develop best practice to bring forward decarbonised energy systems in the run-up to November’s COP26 climate change talks in Glasgow.

The virtual event will hear from representatives from global energy regulators about the common issues faced in enabling energy-related decarbonisation, including supporting the move to the electrification of transport.

Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s chief executive, said:

“As more consumers make the switch to electric vehicles in the next five years, Ofgem will be announcing millions of pounds of investment to create a more flexible energy system to support the electrification of vehicles, renewable generation and low carbon forms of heat.

“Securing the investment is only half of the answer. Climate change can only be tackled if consumers are engaged in the process. For this to happen the transition to a low carbon economy needs to be fair, inclusive and affordable.

“Energy regulators have a key role to play in delivering this transition and we will be seeking to work with regulators across the world in the run-up to the COP26 climate change talks to develop proposals that benefit consumers and the planet.”

Reacting to a report by Ofgem on the affordability of electric cars, RAC data insight spokesman Rod Dennis said:

“Ofgem’s research chimes with our own which shows that a steadily increasing proportion of drivers plan to get a pure electric car next – 9% of all drivers, up from 6% in 2019 and just 3% a year earlier. But we do know that up-front cost remains a barrier, which is why more than half of drivers (53%) would like to see VAT on zero-emissions cars either cut or abolished entirely, while 48% favour a scrappage scheme to make switching out of a conventionally powered vehicle more affordable.

While concerns remain over the cost of EVs, prices are coming down and in fact, several manufacturers reduced the list price of some of their electric models immediately after the Government announced that the Plug-in Car Grant was being cut. There are also different ways for drivers to make the switch affordably, such as leasing which can be a cost-effective way of getting into an electric car without the worries associated with ownership.

Aside from helping reduce the impact conventional cars have on air pollution and the environment, a healthy market for new electric cars will also have another major benefit – it will mean more EVs make their way onto the second-hand market, improving affordability of zero-emission models for everyone.”



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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.