Annual demand for electric vehicles (EVs) surpassed diesel for the first time in 2021 as consumers rapidly transition to electric, according to research from Leasing.com.
Data from the car leasing comparison website shows sales enquiries for EVs grew by 106% in 2021 compared to 2020, while demand for diesel fell by 7% last year.
Battery electric vehicles drive demand
Overall, there were 75% more sales enquiries for electric than there were for diesel which suggests the fuel type has been consigned to history by many private motorists.
Such is the rising demand for EVs, they accounted for 30% of Leasing.com’s total sales enquiries in 2021, up from 19% in 2020 and only beaten by petrol, which accounted for 52% of new car enquiries last year.
Whilst the category of EV includes hybrids and plug-in hybrids, it was battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that drove the sector forward.
All together, BEVs saw a 101% rise in demand in 2021 compared to 2020 and accounted for over 16% of Leasing’s total enquiries in 2021, just shy of diesel at 17% and up from 10% in 2020.
If 2020 was the tipping point, then 2021 was the year that electric motoring entered the mainstream
Paul Harrison, head of strategic partnerships at Leasing.com, says the rise in electrics market share suggests consumers are no longer worried about EVs falling short of expectations.
“Just a few years ago, consumers were unsure about EVs due to range, cost and infrastructure,” he said.
“Those concerns have eased for many consumers thanks to new BEVs regularly topping 300 miles on a full charge and more accessible models and body styles entering the market.
Strong EV sales expected
“If 2020 was the tipping point, then 2021 was the year that electric motoring entered the mainstream,” he added.
“It’s clear that a shift to a pure electric future isn’t as wild as previously thought.
“We expect EV sales enquiries to surpass 50% of total Leasing.com enquiries this year, and BEVs to account for 25% of all demand.”