Petrol pumps out of fuel

Petrol station queues and chaos drive online interest in electric cars

Petrol station queues and chaos drive online interest in EVs

Data shows increased traffic to car brands’ electric vehicle web pages

New data from Sophus3 suggests that the UK’s fuel crisis is driving many consumers to consider an electric car for the first time.

Scott Gairns, Sophus3’s managing director, explains what our analysts have observed in real-time on automotive brand websites and on the Google search engine over the period between 20-26th September as fuel shortages took hold.

“This weekend in the UK we saw mile long queues at petrol stations and brawls on forecourts as panic buying of fuel spread, spurred on by reported shortfalls in deliveries of petrol and diesel. And, in parallel, we observed an increase in online interest in electric cars, both on manufacturers’ websites, and on search engines.”

“On Friday, as the panic buying accelerated, visits to electric vehicle (EV) model pages on car brand sites had increased by almost 50% in just five days. Searches for the term ‘electric car’ on google had also effectively doubled since the start of the week.”

“At the moment it seems to be the drivers of cars with internal combustion engines who are suffering from ‘range anxiety’, whilst the early adopters of EVs are feeling justifiably smug.”

“With concerns that structural problems in the supply chain will mean further waves of panic buying over the autumn and winter months, we expect to see a further hardening of consumer interest in EV models.”

“Choosing an electric car is beginning to look like a sensible, pragmatic choice to guarantee mobility, as well as the right thing to do from an environmental point of view.”

The latest edition of the Sophus3 EV Index, which measures the different factors enabling and encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles, is available here: