Drivers still need persuading of EV benefits

Most drivers still see too many barriers to their early adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), although more younger people would like to own one compared to their parents.

The findings of an AA poll of 10,239 drivers found that young people seem to be more accepting of the technology than older people, but too many still hold needless fears.

With the government set on a target of 50 per cent new vehicle sales being in the ultra-low emissions category by 2030, the motoring group argues that the myths about electric vehicles that are putting off many drivers need to addressed and publicised.

The AA/Populus poll, which will form the basis of the AA keynote presentation to the LowCVP annual conference, reveals that 85 per cent of people overall in the survey said that there aren’t enough public charging points for EVs and that 76 per cent believe that EVs can’t go far enough on a single charge.

Furthermore, the respondents suggest that EVs are too expensive (76 per cent), take too long to charge (67 per cent) and that there isn’t enough choice of models (67 per cent). Asked when they actually expected to own an EV, 35 per cent anticipated this to be within ten years.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “In order to meet the government’s 'Road to Zero' targets a concerted effort is required to demonstrate the benefits of EVs and dispel some of the myths. The range, charging speed and charging point infrastructure are all on the increase. There needs to be a more concerted effort by us all to sell the benefits of electric vehicles.

“Drivers used to filling up when their tank’s nearly empty will need to change re-fuelling habits as most drivers with EVs expect to charge at home, overnight, and then at their destination. Plug-in hybrids shouldn’t be under-estimated as a positive stepping-stone to full EVs. Ultimately outstanding, affordable, stylish EVs with a decent range will sell themselves. Massive savings can already be made on running and service costs, as well as, the tax benefits.

“The EV revolution hasn’t perhaps taken off as quickly as we would have liked but now we have a firm commitment to the charging infrastructure, as well as, future-proofing houses, offices and strategic roads. There are now some exciting EVs on the market and many new and exhilarating models on the horizon. The younger generation in particular are ready to embrace the electric revolution.”

Commenting on the survey, Andy Eastlake, LowCVP managing director, said: “The survey shows that motorists with little direct experience of driving an EV are yet to be convinced about them. By contrast, our work with communities of EV users shows that, with experience, doubt can quickly turn to enthusiasm and keen advocacy. The challenge, which we will be addressing with key stakeholders, is how to give mainstream motorists the experience they need and to address some of the misconceptions they hold.”

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