Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles in London

To analyse the impact of the introduction on the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) on purchasing behaviour of motorists living in the UK capital, the team at reviewed site data and found a continuing shift in demand for environmentally friendly vehicles.

Looking specifically at car searches made since ULEZ was introduced, demand has markedly increased for alternatively fuelled vehicles, and even more pronounced on pure electric cars, with demand up 123% in London and 56% in the rest of the UK.

Whilst still relatively small in the grand scheme of car buying demand, since ULEZ has been introduced just under 12% of searches have been for AFVs in London, and 7% for the rest of the country.

With the dramatic rise in interest suggesting that the introduction of ULEZ on April 8th and subsequent discussions surrounding the daily charges of older vehicles have incentivised Londoners to look to invest in a more environmentally friendly model for their next car purchase.

From the start of May 2018, there has been a 56% year-on-year increase in searches for hybrid vehicles, with a further 92% increase in electric vehicle quotes on the carwow website.

Since the start of 2019, the most searched-for alternative fuel vehicles have been:



Car Make Car Model Fuel Type
1 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
2 Toyota C-HR Hybrid
3 Nissan Leaf Electric
4 Volkswagen e-Golf Electric
5 Renault Zoe Electric
6 Toyota Yaris Hybrid
7 Kia Niro Hybrid
8 Jaguar I-Pace Electric
9 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Plug-In Hybrid
10 Honda CR-V Hybrid

To see just how far the message had gone, carwow ran a snap poll of Britons which found that 60% are aware of what ULEZ is. When questioned on whether they think ULEZ is a good thing, despite the personal cost associated with it, 69% agreed it is, 27% admitted they were unsure and just 14% didn’t agree with it.

Despite 90% of Londoners considering themselves to be environmentally conscious people, just under a third (32%) are currently planning to purchase an alternatively fuelled car in the near future, and just 18% of the rest of the UK.

Mat Watson, editorial director and motoring expert at, commented “Since ULEZ was introduced on 8th April, drivers with cars exceeding the declared emissions criteria face a charge of £12.50 per day, costing up to £4,562.50 over the course of the year, so you can see why we have witnessed such a sharp spike in searches for AFV’s in recent weeks. Whilst British people consider themselves environmentally conscious in principle, it’s the personal financial impact of the fines that is proving a key driver for changing their minds and with the suggestion of ULEZ type initiatives being rolled out amongst other UK cities an increasingly likely possibility, we will be tracking how this impacts buying behaviour.

” That said, intention to buy isn’t the same as buying. While the interest is clearly rising, there is a lot that needs to be done to reassure drivers that not only is it the right environmental choice, but that EVs can have the same capability of petrol and diesel cars to get them where they need to go, safely and without fuss. The Government has set ambitious targets to get electric vehicles the majority on the road by 2030 but a recent report from Deloitte has suggested this will need over double the charging points, and the investment needed to create that kind of infrastructure in the next ten years could amount to £1.6 billion between 2020 and 2030 which is a big commitment.”

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