In case you haven’t read international news recently, the UK is going through a massive petrol and diesel fuel shortage, apparently because the country no longer has enough lorry drivers to supply petrol stations after Brexit.

This has led to enormous lines at petrol stations across the country and a general sense of frustration among owners of ICE-powered cars. Because of panic buying, most stations restricted orders and closed their forecourts.

It has also caused a massive spike in online searches for electric cars. Analysis of Google search data reveals that EV online searches exploded 1,600% on September 24, the day when petrol station fuel shortages became a widespread phenomenon across the country.

According to an analysis commissioned by Carguide, online interest for electric cars skyrocketed to 16 times the average volume in one day in an unprecedented spike in interest for EVs.

Gallery: Vauxhall Corsa-e

The same phenomenon was experienced by Carwow, the UK’s leading new car buying and selling marketplace. On Sunday, September 26, EV searches on the website increased by 56%.

The spike was clearly caused by the fuel shortage fiasco, as searches went up significantly over the previous days just as reports of the crisis started to emerge. Compared to the previous week, EV searches increased 28% on Friday, the day fuel shortages became widespread, 43% on Saturday and went as high as 56% by Sunday.

Furthermore, visits to Carwow’s EV advice hub surged 94% in a week, as more and more people are researching EV ownership to find out more about living with EVs.

“The fuel supply crisis and the scenes of panic at the pumps could prove to be the most influential switching event ever, with more people than ever considering switching to electric. The levels of demand for EVs through carwow this weekend have been completely unprecedented and are genuine proof that more people want to make the switch.” 

Sepi Arani, Director of Trade at carwow

He added that having the option to charge your vehicle from the comfort of your own home, or from a public charging point, “seems like bliss for more and more people.

Electric vehicle registrations have seen an upward trend even before fuel shortages hit the UK, with 7,388 registrations of pure electric vehicles in August alone (source: DfT, SMMT, OLEV). 

For people wanting to make the shift to an EV as soon as possible, Carwow has compiled a list of new electric vehicle models that are currently available to purchase within the shortest amount of time. They include the Tesla Model 3, Jaguar I-Pace, Vauxhall Corsa-e and Mokka-e, BMW i3, VW e-up, and Volvo XC40 Recharge.