Ignoring him and refusing to hang out with him anymore may make a commitment-phobic like him commit as long as you don’t go overboard with it. In essence, you can still hang out and talk but you avoid making yourself so available every time he wants to hang out or talk.
This creates scarcity and that will make him thirsty or hungry for more, thereby making him more emotionally invested in you without even realizing it.
This would also allow you to begin to exercise a degree of ownership and control over this situation. If you are able to be consistent with this king of behavior, he may ultimately give in and commit because you have now created a stronger desire within him to be with you.
I think that there is a degree of truth in what people are telling you about him not caring for you due to his unwillingness to commit or admit that he has feelings for you.
However, a lot of this may also have to do with, yes, his fear of commitment and that may be further exacerbated by his own internal insecurities about what it would mean for him to commit.
He may be fearful of failure to the point where he figures that it would be safer to avoid commitment altogether.
It doesn’t sound like he truly is in love.
Again, 8 months is a long time to avoid making things official. If he was truly in love, he would have done everything in his power by now to ensure that he keeps you by making his relationship with you official.