In UK, Interest in EVs Spikes Amid Fuel Shortages

A Jaguar I-Pace electric vehicle.

A Jaguar I-Pace electric vehicle. Argonne National Laboratory via Flickr

A dearth of truck drivers has slowed deliveries of gasoline in the UK, leading to fuel shortages and panic buying. And with gas in short supply, EV dealers are seeing a surge of interest in electric cars, The Guardian reported.

“Saturday was bonkers but Friday even surpassed that, it was very strange,” businessman Martin Miller, who owns an EV dealership in Surrey, told The Guardian. Friday, he said, was his busiest day ever. “People were using it as ‘this is the moment where I’m not going to put this off any longer.’”

Multiple dealers have reported a spike in EV inquiries since the onset of the fuel crisis, according to the UK’s National Franchised Dealers Association. Matt Cleevely, who owns Cleevely Electric Vehicles in Gloucestershire, said he saw a surge of inquiries over the weekend from customers saying that fuel shortages had spurred them to go electric, The Guardian reported. In the UK, which will ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars by 2030 and hybrids by 2035, Cleevely sees growing enthusiasm for EVs, with the petrol crisis adding “fuel to the fire.”

In the United States, Ford Motor Company is betting big on rising demand for electric cars globally. Together, the automaker and a South Korean supplier will spend $11.4 billion on three battery factories and an electric truck plant in the United States, Ford announced Monday.

“We have enormous demand for our electric vehicles now, and this is going to help us accelerate,” Ford’s chief executive, Jim Farley, told The New York Times.

The four factories will allow Ford to produce more than one million EVs yearly later this decade. The company described the investment as the single-largest in its 118-year history, the Times reported.

“I think the industry is on a fast road to electrification,” Ford’s executive chairman, William C. Ford Jr., told the Times. “And those who aren’t are going to be left behind.”