Study shows the UK is expected to have more EVs than diesels at the end of the decade.

Electric vehicles are expected to become more numerous than diesel cars on UK roads by 2030, according to a new study. But rather than asking experts, the AA survey quizzed more than 12,000 consumers to find out what they thought the UK’s car parc would look like come the end of the decade.

The research showed drivers expect electric vehicles (EVs) to make up 19 percent of cars on UK roads by 2030, whereas diesel is expected to account for just under 17 percent of the UK’s fleet. Should that happen, it will signal a huge shift in consumer attitudes, with EVs currently making up less than one percent of the cars on UK roads, while diesel accounts for 39 percent of the total.

However, with diesel suffering a bruising at the hands of the media, environmentalists and consumers, the study shows its prevalence is expected to fall away. At the end of December 2019, there were almost 13 million diesel-powered cars on British roads, but the survey’s respondents expected that to fall to around 5.5 million by the beginning of 2030.

Porsche Diesel logo

At the same time, a huge increase in EV population is expected, with numbers rising from around 90,000 at the end of December 2019 to around 6.5 million in January 2030. And it isn’t just electric cars that are expected to grow in popularity. Plug-in hybrids are expected to make up around 12 percent of British cars in 2030, while ‘regenerative’ or ‘self-charging’ hybrids such as the Toyota Prius are predicted a 14-percent share.

Other fuels are also expected to make an impact, with hydrogen expected to fuel five percent of UK cars and ‘other fuels’ expected to make up almost three percent of the total. That said, petrol is expected to remain the firm favourite, accounting for roughly three in 10 cars on UK roads in 2030.

“Over the next nine years, electric cars could supercharge the way we drive,” said AA president Edmund King. “There is clearly a desire from drivers to own them. EVs will play a significant role in the future.

“Everything is working in favour of electric cars. The range of a single charge is constantly improving, the purchase and leasing prices are becoming more affordable, more models and styles are reaching the market and investments in charge points are being made.

“Electric vehicle technology has the ability to unlock much more than greener motoring; providing the chance to create new jobs and opportunities. More should be done to spark the EV revolution, such as scrapping the VAT on electric cars costing less than £50,000 and the construction of numerous gigafactories.”

Peugeot e-Rifter charging