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The Fuel Crisis and Electric Vehicle Adoption

2021 saw the British public panic buying fuel until 90% of all petrol stations had none left. Industries up and down the country were impacted by the news but it was later revealed that there was no fuel shortage in the first place.

Fast forward a few months, to 2022, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has resulted in many Western countries putting a ban on Russian energy exports. This, in turn, has resulted in staggering wholesale prices – including that of petrol and diesel. Add to this the current soaring energy prices, and the cost of living crisis in the UK, and it’s no surprise that some people are turning their attention to electric vehicles (EVs).

Rising costs and consequences

The cost of fuel began to rise in February 2022 with an average cost of £1.60 a litre for petrol and £1.70 per litre for diesel. In July, the average cost for a litre of petrol is around £1.90 and it’s around £1.98 for a litre of diesel. Naturally, this has a direct impact on the UK’s nation of drivers as panic over prices leads to panic buying. Demand at forecourts and a lack of fuel then has a direct impact on delivery drivers and businesses that rely on their fleet of vehicles. This only creates a vicious cycle of demand and supply.

For businesses that rely on fuel to carry out their services, there’s a greater threat to profitability too. Plus, the forecast isn’t set to get any better either as MPs warned that costs could rise to over £3 a litre for diesel and £2.40 for petrol. If businesses want to stay afloat, the cost of rising fuel either needs to hit their bottom line or their customers – both of which are damaging.

A welcome solution

Many are urging the government to take action including cutting fuel duty and VAT. However, another solution is for businesses and individuals to step into the EV market and adopt electric vehicles. In fact, during the 2021 fuel crisis, the EV industry witnessed a record month for car sales, with over 33,000 EVs registered in the month of September. What’s more, sales of new cars were at their lowest for over 20 years. The stats for this month are similar too, with a “bumper growth” in the number of sales for plug-in cars.

Now, there’s believed to be more than 470,000 electric cars in the UK and over 790,000 hybrid vehicles on the road. The average range for EVs is increasing too, with many having driving ranges of 200-300 miles. £1.3 billion has also been allocated by the government to install additional fast EV charging points and new homes are now required to come with charging points too.

Tipping point

It’s important to note that the current and past fuel supply crises aren’t the sole reason for individuals and businesses turning their attention to electric vehicles. In fact, many argue that it’s a combination of a few factors including the new expansion of low emission zones and the climate crisis that has added fuel to the fire and boosted EV sales. Not to mention, the convenience that EV drivers have of just charging their vehicle on their drive while they sleep at night.

Of course, that’s before we even mention the fact that EVs are cheaper to run and there are now an ever-increasing number of models to choose from. Plus, the UK has pledged to ban new petrol and diesel cars from being sold by 2030.

News like this simply reminds people that EVs can work for a whole host of reasons and many of the previous fears surrounding the adoption of EVs are quickly being proved as false too.