Motoring News

The Growing Popularity of Electric Vehicles

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Recent research shows one in every 150 car insurance enquiries are now for an electric vehicle.

This figure from MoneySuperMarket represents yet another milestone in the rapid rise of electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK.

Data from the British price comparison website-based business shows an 80% increase since the beginning of 2020, when only one in every 270 enquiries were for EVs (0.37%). This also represents a 226% hike on the first half of 2019 and a massive 370% increase on the first half of 2018, when just one in 700 enquiries were for an electric vehicle (0.14%). 

The City of London has by far the highest proportion of car insurance enquiries for electric vehicles recorded in any area to date, with more than one in 10 (10.03%).  

In general, those in the south of England are most likely to own an electric vehicle, with proportions in the South East (0.85%), East (0.71%) and South West (0.63%) only lower than London. However, the North West saw the largest increase in the proportion of enquiries for electric vehicles, moving from one in every 250 enquiries in H2 2020 (0.40%) to one in every 170 in H1 2021 (0.58%) – a 40% rise. 

Proportion of enquiries for electric vehicles by region: 

Region Proportion of enquiries for EVs, H2 2020 Proportion of enquiries for EVs, H1 2021 Change Average Premium in H1 2021 
London 0.86% 1.07% 25% £860.54 
South East 0.72% 0.85% 18% £539.84 
East 0.56% 0.71% 28% £546.51 
South West 0.55% 0.63% 14% £417.76 
Scotland 0.57% 0.61% 7% £410.31 
North West 0.40% 0.58% 44% £639.52 
East Midlands 0.46% 0.55% 20% £567.84 
North East 0.41% 0.51% 22% £512.96 
West Midlands 0.38% 0.47% 23% £646.77 
Yorkshire & the Humber 0.35% 0.44% 24% £586.32 
Wales 0.34% 0.41% 19% £448.91 
Northern Ireland 0.34% 0.38% 12% £478.24 

Meanwhile, the rate of change in Scotland was a little lower, with the proportion of enquiries for electric vehicles increasing by just 7% since the end of 2020. In addition, Scotland has dropped from being the third most popular region for electric cars in 2020 to fifth place by mid-2021 (0.61%). Wales and Northern Ireland continue to have the lowest proportion of enquiries for electric vehicles in the UK (0.41% and 0.38% respectively). 

The start of 2021 saw a significant decline in car insurance premiums across all engine types – petrol, diesel and electric – however, the drop in premiums for EVs was only 2%, compared to 10% for diesel and 15% for petrol. This smaller decline in premiums for electric vehicles could be in part due to the average age of enquirers across the different engine types.  

Younger age groups saw the biggest overall drop in car insurance prices between the end of 2020 and the middle of 2021, with premiums falling by £287 for 17-19-year-olds compared with just £27 for over 65s. Enquirers for electric vehicles were far less likely to fall into these younger age groups, which may mean that this drop in prices had less of an effect on the overall premium. 

Premiums for EVs are now more expensive on average than petrol vehicles for the first time since 2019 (£613 v £575). However, diesel vehicles remain the most expensive to insure at £618. 

Proportion of enquiries for electric, diesel and petrol engine cars by age group: 

Engine Type Average Age of Enquirer 17 to 19 20 to 24 25 to 29 30 to 39 40 to 49 50 to 64 65 or Above 
Electric 42 3.4% 7% 8.4% 25.4% 25% 22.1% 8.6% 
Diesel 35 6.8% 14.1% 13.4% 25.1% 18% 16.5% 6% 
Petrol 31 17% 18.2% 12.2% 17.9% 13.2% 14.2% 7.3% 

Tesla continued to dominate the most popular makes and models, making up a third (33%) of all enquiries for EVs, including four separate models in the top 10. Variants of the Tesla Model-3 alone account for over a quarter of all enquiries for electric vehicles (27%). 

Top ten EVs with the most enquiries, between January and June 2021: 

H1 2021 rank by number of enquiries Car Average Premium Cost % of Enquiries in Period 
Tesla Model-3 Long Range AWD £891.52 13% 
Tesla Model-3 Standard Range Plus £1,056.27 10% 
Nissan Leaf£439.04 7% 
Tesla Model-S £1,273.28 5% 
Jaguar I-Pace £670.82 3% 
Tesla Model-3 Performance AWD £896.56 3% 
Renault Zoe £436.60 3% 
Kia Niro £409.78 3% 
Nissan Leaf Acenta £397.77 3% 
10 Volkswagen E-Golf £415.87 2% 

You can find out more about electric cars and insurance here.

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