Why Is There a Fuel Shortage In the UK? The Fuel Shortage Will Accelerate The Switch to Electric Cars

Why Is There a Fuel Shortage In the UK? The Fuel Shortage Will Accelerate The Switch to Electric Cars

Why Is There a Fuel Shortage In the UK? The Fuel Shortage Will Accelerate The Switch to Electric Cars

Petrol prices are at an eight-year high. The United Kingdom has pledged to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and of new hybrids by 2035. 

The recent fuel shortage has sparked massive interest in electric cars. Perhaps it's time to switch to sustainable solutions 

What Are the Main Reasons Behind the Fuel Shortage in the UK?


The main reasons behind the fuel shortage are temporary spikes in customer demand and the fact that there aren't enough qualified drivers to supply petrol.

There's an estimated shortage of more than 100,000 HGV drivers and petrol is only the latest industry to be hit.

The lack of drivers has caused severe problems for a range of industries - from supermarkets, retail stores to fast food chains.

Fuel tanker drivers need additional safety qualifications on top of their HGV licence to be able to transport chemicals such as petrol.

Late last week, oil firm BP warned that it would have to temporarily close a handful of its petrol stations, because of a lack of lorry drivers.

Long queues started to build up outside stations across the United Kingdom over the weekend, amid fears that petrol might run out.

Urban areas have been hardest hit, while Northern Ireland has been unaffected.

The UK has been especially badly hit with the fuel crisis.

After Brexit, many European and foreign drivers returned to their home countries, or moved elsewhere, because working in the UK involved additional border bureaucracy which had an impact on their income.

The Covid-19 pandemic saw even more drivers return to their home countries, with few coming back.

Meanwhile, some older drivers have retired and there is a huge backlog in HGV driver tests due to Covid-19.

Oil companies have stressed there is plenty of fuel available, but the U.K. government has claimed that media coverage has inflamed the situation.

For the first time Boris Johnson intervened in the crisis and directly appealed to the public not to fill up unnecessarily. 

Why Now is The Perfect Timing to Switch to Electric Cars in the U.K.?


The recent fuel shortage has sparked massive interest in electric cars and could accelerate the UK's switch to EVs, say experts.

EV-focused media platform Electrifying.com reports searches on its site were up 75 per cent over the weekend, while Google searches for the term ‘electric car’ were up 300 per cent in the same period.

Sellers of plug-in vehicles say petrol shortages are driving people to adopt the new technology.

The data indicates that Brits are considering electric vehicles as a viable alternative to internal combustion engines, with the charging infrastructure less reliant on external factors such as HGV driver numbers.

Although there are concerns for the future surrounding the National Grid’s ability to cope with a huge increase in EVs charging from home at peak hours, charge points can be scheduled to not come on when demand is high.

Furthermore, public charging infrastructure is increasing rapidly, with many service stations and even some petrol stations now having fast chargers. 

People buy electric cars for environmental reasons, for cost-saving reasons and because the technology is great. However the fuel crisis was one of those moments where people said, ‘Do you know what, this is a sign that we need to go electric’.

While scenes of chaos play out at petrol stations across the country amid shortages, for many electric vehicle (EV) dealers the fuel crisis has led to an unexpected surge in inquiries and sales.

The EV market is no longer the preserve of innovators and early adopters, with the most popular models the Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen ID 3 and Jaguar I-Pace.

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Susanna Koelblin

Commercialization & Sourcing Leader Focused On Circularity

From blockchain to recycling, Susanna talks about emerging technologies and circularity topics in the fashion industry.


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