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Doubts remain about EV adoption, survey finds

Date: 15 November 2019   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Less than half of UK drivers would currently consider getting an electric vehicle (EV), according to research by Lex Autolease.

The leasing company's survey found that only 49% of respondents were willing to switch, despite 61% saying they're aware of government zero emissions targets, and 86% saying they have altered their behaviour in the past five years to be more environmentally friendly.

The most popular concern about having an EV was a fear of running out of battery mid-journey, named by 55% of respondents, while 50% were concerned about access to charging facilities.

Also, 40% said that EVs are too expensive, and 38% were concerned about the length of time needed to charge up.

Also, 27% of respondents said they didn't know enough about the different fuel types available.

Lex Autolease head of consultancy Ashley Barnett said: "The government's pledge to eradicate the UK's greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 will mean reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, generating more renewable energy and, crucially, ensuring the mass-market adoption of electric vehicles.

"The way we live our lives - and the way we travel around - will have to change radically, but a significant number of drivers remain reluctant to get on board.

"With more than 26 million drivers planning to replace their car or van in the next ten years, the opportunity is huge. The government's target could be in reach if we can educate, encourage and incentivise more people to consider going electric."

In more positive news for EV adoption, 42% of survey respondents acknowledged the appeal of cheaper fuel and road tax, 25% were impressed by access to emissions-restricted areas, and 24% welcomed lower maintenance costs.

In addition, 49% said a service provider, such as a utility company or delivery service, with an electric or low-emission vehicle fleet would be appealing, and 54% said it was becoming cooler to have an electric or low-emission vehicle than one powered by diesel or petrol.

Barnett added: "Initiatives like our EV1000 fund - which provided £1,000 cashback on the first 1,000 pure electric vehicles ordered from us in 2019 - can help people overcome the slightly higher upfront costs of electric.

"But while the list price of electric vehicles is often higher than petrol or diesel equivalents, that gap is closing all the time - and the savings available throughout the lifetime of an electric vehicle mean it's likely to cost less in total.

"Where drivers have access to charging facilities at home or work, electric vehicles can fit seamlessly into everyday life. For lower-mileage users who mainly drive in urban areas, there's simply no reason to delay moving into an electric vehicle and enjoying the whole-life cost benefits."