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Could greener, cleaner roads be the future of the automotive sector?

News today broke of Tesla’s recall of more than 50,000 cars over faulty electronic brakes, just a month after Populus research has shown a growing interest in zero and low emission vehicles.

As close to two thirds of all Tesla vehicles produced in 2016 are recalled, research reveals that drivers are already becoming increasingly interested in greener, cleaner vehicles.

The AA-Populus Motoring Panel findings could have wide ranging ramifications for the industry and the way we experience our roads.

A signal of change for the motoring sector

Populus’ research shows that fuel prices are up, petrol consumption is down and an interest in low emission cars is on the rise.

City A.M also reported the drop in UK petrol consumption, highlighting that 14% of drivers are cutting back on other spending to accommodate rising fuel costs.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of respondents are now restricting their car use in order to save on fuel costs.

Drivers are looking closer at the alternatives

The research suggests that rising costs are denting pockets and opinions alike, prompting drivers to look elsewhere.

Last year for example, online searches for electric cars on the AA Cars platform jumped 53% vs 2015.

iNews and The Express reported a marked change in buying intentions in favour of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles with research suggesting that an extra 3.6 million of these vehicles could be on UK roads in the next few years.

This could make our roads look very different in just a few years’ time, should the trend continue.

The future for the automotive sector

February 2017’s results from the AA Motoring Panel found that almost seven in 10 (68%) panel members were in support of a new government scheme to scrap older, more polluting diesel cars and replacing them with new, cleaner petrol, diesel or hybrid/electric vehicles.

Factors such as government plans to commit £35 million to install new charge points alongside improved battery development and a better charging network may all also be affecting consumer preferences.

As Tesla recalls around 53,000 Model S and Model X vehicles built last year, it is clear that drivers are already increasingly looking at zero and low emission alternatives.

View the full report here

Read more about Business & Consumer Insight Solutions at Populus and discover more about our industry-leading research.

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