Online searches for electric cars skyrocket by 1,500% amid petrol station crisis

·2-min read
A Shell petrol station in Bracknell, Berkshire, which has no fuel  (PA Wire)
A Shell petrol station in Bracknell, Berkshire, which has no fuel (PA Wire)

Online searches for electric cars in the UK exploded by 1,500 per cent on the day petrol station shortages became a widespread phenomenon, according to new analysis of Google search data.

The research shows an “unprecedented” spike in interest for electric cars with online inquiries skyrocketing to 16 time the average daily volume on Friday, September 24.

A spokesperson for carguide.co.uk, which commissioned the research, said: “It’s interesting to see how a shortage in fuel for petrol and diesel cars at the petrol stations can cause such a massive hike in online searches for electric cars across the country.

“This trend will likely continue, as more and more people become conscious of their viability, and almost every major manufacturer is committed to electrifying their vehicle portfolio - with the electric car ranges and capabilities increasing almost exponentially as new models come to market.”

Electric vehicle registration is on an upwards trend, with 7,388 registration of pure electric vehicles in August alone.

Friday marked the highest number of transactions in a day at petrol stations in recent memory, according to HSBC UK.

Aggregated customer spending data from the bank showed a two-thirds increase in the value of transactions at petrol stations across the whole of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, compared with the same period a week earlier.

Looking at the volume of transactions, 25 per cent more payments were made, according to the figures given to the PA news agency.

The crisis has been caused by a wave of panic buying after a national shortage of lorry drivers left a small proportion of filling stations short of fuel last week.

It meant thousands of Londoners including teachers and doctors were forced to work from home on Monday as the capital bore the brunt of the “shambolic” fuel crisis.

Retailers said that up to 90 per cent of their outlets in and around London were out of petrol and diesel after a six-fold surge in demand from drivers over the weekend

Motorists are being hit by fuel prices rising to an eight-year high amid shortages at filling stations.

RAC figures show the average price of a litre of petrol across the UK increased from 135.87p on Friday to 136.59p on Sunday.

Pump prices have not been that high since September 2013.

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