Survey: UK Shows No Love For Plug-Ins – Respondents Say CO2 Emissions Aren’t Considered When Buying a New Vehicle


Nissan LEAF Leads the Sales Charge in the UK

Nissan LEAF Leads the Sales Charge in the UK

According to the results of a survey conducted by AutoTrader, residents of the UK show no love for plug-in vehicles.

Vauxhall Ampera Sales Are Incredibly Low in UK

Vauxhall Ampera Sales Are Incredibly Low in UK

The findings suggest a lack of education really, but that seems to be the case elsewhere around the globe, too.

In the UK, more than 33% of those survey had no clue that the government offers a £5,000 Plug In Car Grant.

Furthermore, most respondents cited a lacking charging infrastructure as a reason to not buy a plug-in.  Aside from the UK’s adequate public charging infrastructure, every home in the UK has a plug if we’re not mistaken, so the infrastructure is there.

This survey response though shows ignorance all around.  CO2 emissions were listed by most respondents as one of the least pressing concerns when buying a new vehicle.  Put a different way, new car buyers in the UK don’t care how much CO2 their vehicle emits.

Then there’s price.  Most respondents stated the plug-in vehicles cost too much, which may well be true if you don’t examine the savings on “fuel” and if you ignore the UK’s Plug In Car Grant, the later of which we already know 1/3 of those surveyed do ignore it since they don’t even know it exists.

AutoTrader group marketing director, Jonathan Williams, had this to say of the results:

“Put simply, going green is not currently an attractive package. UK motorists are being asked to make huge compromises on aesthetics and the investment of their time finding and charging their vehicle. It’s no wonder why, on top of all of these factors, a higher upfront purchase price is too much of an ask.”


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7 Comments on "Survey: UK Shows No Love For Plug-Ins – Respondents Say CO2 Emissions Aren’t Considered When Buying a New Vehicle"

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It’s hard to educate the public, when the geniuses at AutoTrader are so ignorant themselves…


I think it’s also up to the dealerships to educate, and I don’t think they are too motivated. It’s no wonder Tesla wants to sell its own cars. Wonder what the learning curve for the UK will be when London bans ICE’s in ~2050. I guess they got 35 years to figure it out. That’s at least a human generation.

Chris O

When I read about one year old Renault Fluence ZEs being offered for as low as £7,000 it’s clear that things are pretty dire in the UK.


Between the near $10/gallon petrol price, the £5,000 grant, the lack of a congestion charge . . . a lot of the Brits are just stupid for not even considering an EV.

Silicon Valley is buying plug-ins like crazy . . . and all sorts too. Teslas, Leafs, Volts, C-Max Energi, Thinks, Fiat 500e, Mitsubishi-is, Honda Fit EV, plug-in Prius, Fusion Energi, etc. I think that HOV lane sticker is a HUGE incentive that really gets people.

And I’m worried that they’ll need to change the rules . . . because they are now making some gas guzzlers that include 20 miles of EV range such as Porsches. Perhaps PHEVs should require at least 20 miles and 30MPG to qualify.


My fellow Brits disappoint, but I do think that if plug-ins were seriously advertised AND the cars were no more than a similar ICE then they would sell a lot better.

I think they will eventually tbe successful here, maybe in 5 years they’ll be considered ‘normal’.


Did you mean to say ‘the cars were no more COSTLY than similar ICE’? If so, that is asking for too much. You can’t make a battery cost as low as an empty steel gas tank. Buyers need to appreciate the longer-term cost savings of driving on cheap electricity instead of buying $9/gallon petrol.


No, I think eventually when volume ramps up they’ll be no MORE to buy than an ICE, that’s when thing will really change because the economic benefits will be impossible to resist.