2017 is set to be the year of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) as a new poll of car brokers finds increased appetite for electric and hybrid cars with sales of petrol and diesel vehicles set to wane.
Views canvassed from leading brokers by Paragon Car Finance shows that recent headlines about the negative effects of diesel vehicles are set to have a significant impact on the market, paving the way for greener vehicles to flourish.
Asked what impact they expect concerns over diesel emissions to have on car-buying in 2017, 29 per cent forecast a decline in sales, compared to only 10 per cent who expect an increase.
The sentiment is not quite as bad for petrol vehicles, where 19 per cent of brokers expect to see a fall in sales, compared to 29 per cent who think sales will grow.
But the growing appetite for AFVs is stark.
Just as sales of diesel and petrol vehicles is set to decline, sales of electric and hybrid vehicles are expected to significantly increase.
77 per cent of brokers see sales of electric vehicles growing in 2017, with 81 per cent expecting hybrid vehicles to increase market share.
Longer term, the forecasts are yet more significant.
Asked how the market will look in five years’ time, 52 per cent expect decreased sales of diesel vehicles with 29 per cent expecting them to drop “significantly”. 52 per cent think petrol vehicles will decline over the same period.
Conversely, 91 per cent of brokers think electric vehicle sales will increase over the next five years with 62 per cent expecting “significant” growth.
Julian Rance, head of Paragon Car Finance, said: “Urban pollution has been making headlines, putting diesel vehicles firmly in the spotlight and the latest figures from our Headlight Survey reveal that the pace of change in the car market is expected to grow.
“As such nearly a third of brokers expect diesel sales to decline in 2017 while 81 per cent expect diesel sales to decline over the next five years.”
Mr Rance said government policy incentives like road tax exemption and increasing awareness of the environmental impact of diesel emissions, “more and more” consumers are willing to consider electric and hybrid vehicles.
“As the technology and infrastructure which supports such vehicles gets better, sales will further increase.”
If you are thinking of moving into working with electric vehicles to diversify your dealership and take advantage of this growing market, you will need to look closely at your motor trade insurance.