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Almost half of car buyers expect next purchase to be hybrid or BEV, according to eBay Motors Group research

  • 29% of buyers expect next car to be hybrid, 15% expect to go fully electric
  • Men more likely to buy a battery electric vehicle (BEV) or hybrid 
  • London buyers lead move to BEVs and hybrid ahead of ULEZ expansion

6 September 2021 Almost half of buyers (44%) expect their next car to be a battery electric vehicle (BEV) or hybrid, with male buyers showing greater intent to go electric, according to consumer research by eBay Motors Group.

This appetite for making the transition to BEVs is driven by buyers aged under 34 and is strongest in households with income in excess of £90,000.

Nearly a third of buyers (29%) expect their next car to be a hybrid and 15% expect it to be electric.

These are among the key findings from the 2021 eBay Motors Group Digital Touchpoints Survey, conducted by Insight Advantage, which polled the views of 2,000 car buyers in June, following the reopening of dealerships across the UK.

Although petrol remains the first choice for most buyers (39%) considering their next car, this preference is declining, dropping 10% since 2020, the biggest year-on-year decline for any fuel type. While diesel is the choice of just 16.5% of buyers.

"With climate change and environmental considerations high on the national agenda, especially in light of the government's pledge towards net zero emissions and the UK hosting the COP26 conference in October, it's encouraging that so many buyers are giving serious consideration to BEVs and hybrids for their next car purchase," said Dermot Kelleher, head of marketing and research at eBay Motors Group.

"The research shows we are closing in on an inflection point between diesel and electric, with consideration of both fuel types just one percentage point apart. Ultimately, the uptake of BEVs over the coming months will be dependent on the supply issues facing new and used vehicles. However, what is clear is that there is greater intent to buy them, something dealers need to factor into current and future stock planning," he said.

The appeal of hybrids and BEVs is slightly stronger among men than women. Nearly a third of men (31.5%) expect to buy a hybrid next, compared to 26.5% of women. While BEVs are favoured by 17% of men compared to 14% of women.

The appetite for BEVs is strongest among younger buyers aged up to 34, while hybrids appeal more to buyers aged over 44.

The research found the intention to buy BEVs rose according to annual income, peaking at 24% of households earning over £90,000. The peak for hybrids was 42% of households with incomes between £60,000-£90,000.

When it comes to adoption by geographical region, London has the highest percentage of buyers intending to purchase electric (29%) and hybrid (34%) and the lowest expecting to buy diesel (5%) as consumers factor in the expansion to London's Ultra Low Emission Zone in October.

Source: eBay Motors Group 2021 Digital Touchpoints Survey: eBay Motors Group's 2021 Digital Touchpoints Survey was conducted online in June with 2,000 adults who were sole or joint decision makers when buying a car. The survey was conducted by Insight Advantage, the independent research company.