Research shows EV take up remains low

New research carried out by Electricty North West shows that just two per cent of British drivers currently own an electric car.

Research shows EV take up remains low

The research also revealed that almost half (48%) say the cost of EVs is putting them off, despite lower running costs.  

Commissioned by Electricity North West and carried out by Impact Utilities to explore current perceptions of electric vehicles, the survey of 3,400 UK consumers also highlighted that only six per cent intend to buy or lease one as their next car.

Just over a third of those surveyed (34%) expected to own an electric vehicle by 2050, and only 13% of over 65s intend to buy one, despite there being an expected ban on sales of new conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2040. 

Awareness and understanding of electric vehicles remain a major barrier to adoption, with over three quarters (76%) having heard of them but with limited knowledge. Just over a third (34%) said concerns around how far they can travel on a charge is stopping them purchasing, with most people underestimating how far they can go.

18-24 year olds are most likely to own an EV now, standing at eight per cent; despite the very low number, this is still more than the remaining age groups combined. A whopping 39% of 55-64 year olds and 39% of 65+ said nothing would encourage them to buy or lease an electric vehicle.  

Paul Bircham, commercial strategy and support director at Electricity North West, commented: “It’s important for us as a local network to understand likely customer impacts on the power grid so that we can plan for the future. Our research suggests a large gulf in expectations of electric vehicle take up between government and industry compared to the reality among the consumers who are expected to buy them.

“While many commentators and industry insiders expect petrol and diesel cars to become obsolete in the next couple of decades, almost half of UK car-buyers still expect their next vehicle purchase to be petrol or diesel. There is clearly still a job to do to encourage more conversations around what is still considered a new and distant technology, and to dispel some of the misconceptions around EVs, such as overall cost of ownership. In many cases EVs provide better value for money than traditional petrol and diesel vehicles with most mass market EVs travelling a range of 100-150 miles on a single charge.” 

When thinking broadly about decarbonisation, more than 90 per cent of those aged 45 or over admitted to having no renewable or energy saving technologies at home.

“It’s clear that the public still needs to be convinced by the idea of an electric vehicle, so if we are to stimulate the market into action, then we need to do just that – educate, raise awareness and inform,” continued Bircham.

“Understanding customers’ views and intentions in turn helps us to plan where and how to invest in the local power network to most efficiently and effectively to support take up.”

Manchester was found to have one of the highest levels of interest in electric vehicles, with a quarter of residents saying they expect to buy or lease an EV or hybrid next.



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