Research suggests shift towards electric vehicles.

The demand for diesel cars is set to slump due to concerns over emissions and pollution, according to a survey commissioned by Autocar.

The leading automotive publication joined forces with survey research advisor Simpson Carpenter to conduct a study on the attitude of motorists towards diesel engines and the findings make for interesting reading.

The study found that more than a sixth of all motorists are planning to buy a hybrid or electric car next.

Despite diesels currently accounting for around four in 10 cars on UK roads, just 23% of motorists plan to buy a diesel as their next car. Interestingly, 17% of motorists say their next car will be hybrid or electric-powered.

With EV drivers currently making up less than 1% of vehicles on the road today, the switch could represent a significant shift.

Tom Simpson, the managing director of Simpson Carpenter, said: “Car owners are predicting a major change in their buying behaviour. If they follow through on these intentions, it will give the industry a real headache.”

Tim Payne, CEO of InstaVolt, said: “This is exactly what we want to hear – more and more people ready to make the switch to an electric vehicle. If someone had suggested a year ago that 17% of motorists would be going electric with their next purchase I would have been pleasantly taken aback. However I have to say that now, with heavy investment in charging infrastructure and an ever increasing range of affordable EVs, it’s not surprising that people are embracing electric.”

The Autocar and Simpson Carpenter survey results are backed by the most recent sales figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), which showed diesel registrations in May 2017 fell 20% year-on-year. A total of 81,489 diesels were registered in May, compared with more than 101,000 in the same month last year.

To read the full findings of the report and see graphs visit the Autocar website.

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