Nearly two-thirds of drivers support delay of 2030 petrol and diesel car ban

What Car? survey of in-market car buyers also shows that 43% of those who agree with the delay cite a lack of charging infrastructure as the main reason...

Mini petrol station

Nearly two-thirds of UK drivers (60.1%) are in favour of the UK Government’s decision to push back the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2035, according to the latest What Car? survey of in-market car buyers.

Three years after the Government said that new Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars and vans would not be allowed to be sold in the UK from 2030, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that the ban would be pushed back to 2035. However, despite the delay, the proposed Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate was confirmed to be going ahead, meaning that from January next year 22% of each carmakers’ sales would need to be Electric cars, increasing incrementally to 80% by 2030, and 100% by 2035.

Of the 1056 people who took part in the survey, 43.3% who are in favour of the delay cited fears that charging infrastructure wouldn’t be ready in time for the original 2030 ban. Further reasons given for support of the delay included concerns around the expense of electric car, the fear of insufficient range of battery-powered cars, and a belief that the original timeframe of the ban would negatively affect UK businesses. For some respondents, their reasons were much more straightforward: 14.5% of those who agreed with the delay said that they simply prefer driving petrol or diesel vehicles.

Conversely, of the 22.3% who disagreed with the delay, 63% stated that the UK needs to maintain momentum on the EV transition as part of our Net Zero commitments, while 14% of those who disagreed believed that the decision would negatively affect the UK’s standing on the world stage.

Three electric cars rapid charging

Almost a fifth of respondents (17.6%) stated that they had no opinion on the delay to the ban.

When asked whether the announcement of the original 2030 ban had influenced their car buying behaviour, the overwhelming majority stated that it had not: 29.5% have since bought an ICE or hybrid car; 4.5% bought an electric car for reasons other than the ban; and 63.2% had not bought a car since the original announcement three years ago. 

Only 2.8% of respondents stated that the original announcement had prompted them to purchase an electric car.

What Car? also surveyed buyers to gauge attitudes towards the ZEV Mandate, which was recently confirmed to be going ahead in 2024 by Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch MP. While 28.1% of respondents were opposed to the ZEV Mandate, 44.8% were not aware of it at all.

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Read more: Electric car range test – how far can you really go on a charge? >>