Brits ‘confused’ by the 2040 diesel and petrol ban

Brits ‘confused’ by the 2040 diesel and petrol ban

Almost half (46%) of Brits are confused by the government’s plan to ban the sale of all new diesel and petrol vehicles from 2040, according to our new survey*.

Over 70% of 2,000 UK respondents said the government hadn’t provided enough information about its blueprint, which is an attempt to improve air quality amid fears of rising levels of nitrogen oxide being a risk to health.

With action being taken to tackle pollution caused by cars, our survey discovered what Britain really thought of the impending 2040 diesel/petrol ban and made some surprising discoveries.

Concerns about lack of charging points

One of the biggest concerns amongst those surveyed was accessibility to charging electric cars, with 38% worried about not being able to find charging points.

In 2017 there were 4,898 known locations for charging points in the UK. Very few new locations were introduced in 2017, but the number of charging points at existing locations has increased.

London has the highest number of charge points (22% of the national total), while other areas such as Wales, Northern Ireland, and East Midlands have significantly fewer.

There has been a rise in electric car plugs available, but will the government be able to meet the costs and demands in time for a mass-market take-up?

According to publicly available figures, there’s a disconnect between how charge points have been shared among the UK regions and the percentage of the population that lives in each area. For example, 22% of Britain’s charge points are in Greater London, but only 13% of the UK’s population lives there.

Fear of potential costs

UK drivers are also concerned about the costs surrounding the ban. When it comes to selling their cars and buying new electric-based vehicles, 36% of people think they’ll lose money. 22% of people reckon they’d break even when swapping to an electric car, and only 4% think they would save money.

Of those that believe they’ll lose out, 24% think the financial hit could be anywhere between £500-£1,000.

The government has introduced a ‘plug-in grant[JD1] ’ to help drivers save up to £4,500 on a new electric/hybrid car, but our research revealed 42% of Brits are completely unaware of the incentive.

People also have concerns about the cost of running an electric car:

- 35% of those said they were worried about the unknown expense of charging a car.

- 31% were concerned about potential increases in taxes for diesel or petrol cars.

- 29% feared they might have to charge their car more often than filling with petrol.

Changes in opinions for selling a car

After learning about the ban, many people intend to sell their cars sooner: 52% say they want to shift their motor before 2019. That’s a jump of double: only 26% of respondents were looking to sell prior to 2019 before they heard about the government’s plan.

Changes in fuel type

When it comes to preparing for the switch over to hybrid/electric vehicles, 35% of people are planning to change their car type. Diesel drivers are the most likely to switch, with 50% planning on changing their cars. And 25% of those switchers leaning towards a hybrid car.

Overall, 34% of people are considering switching to electric vehicles in the future. Research has shown that there has been a growth in the number of electric or hybrid cars registered since 2017.

As you would expect, demand for alternative fuel is growing and diesel is decreasing, with only 47.7% of the market share in 2016 compared to 49.8% in 2013.

Businesses’ plans for the ban

The proposed ban is likely to impact businesses that rely on vehicles significantly – rumour has it, well-known brands such as BT and Uber already have plans.

Our survey results revealed 43% of employers are creating business strategies to manage the shift to electric vehicles. Interestingly, 20% think the diesel ban will have a positive effect on their work, while 17% reckon the diesel ban will have a negative impact.

With the ban only a few decades away, it remains to be seen how Britain will react to the shift, and whether attitude will change. But it seems the government has left millions in the dark about what’s happening, and it will need to focus on educating Britain’s vehicle owners over the next 20-plus years. It’s not all bad news though. Contrary to what may be implied, any penalties aimed towards diesel cars will mostly affect those with Euro 5 emissions or below. Euro 6 diesel cars are cleaner than ever and manufacturers are working to improve further on this, as well as alternative fuels. Take a look at our article on whether you should buy a diesel car this year to find out more.

*Survey of 2,000 respondents conducted by OnePoll on our behalf

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