A recent survey of 9000 motorists carried out by What Car? looked at their perceptions of electric vehicles (EVs) in 2019.
This revealed a lack of knowledge and understanding of how EVs can compete with today’s better known and understood traditional petrol and diesel car models.
This also suggests that the cost of an EV, rather than its range, is the biggest barrier for buyers who struggle to calculate and appreciate the formula of a high initial outlay balance by significant fuel savings thereafter.
Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car? explained: “Over 40% of our sample told us the price that premium electric vehicles continue to command over petrol and diesel cars is too much for them to make the switch. However, when given time to research and understand the potential cost savings of owning and running an electric vehicle, this reply fell to 35.6%.”
Range was the second-largest concern for buyers, with 28% put-off by the reduced flexibility compared to petrol and diesel, even though 10% would be able to drive an EV without making changes to their lifestyle. A further 15% were concerned about EV charging points and the UK’s infrastructure, in 2019 while 16% wanted a larger selection of electric vehicles to choose from before buying one.
Huntingford added: “Our research reveals a gap when it comes to the public’s understanding of electric vehicle technology and their features. This is actively holding back some from actually buying one. We now know that it takes buyers three months of research to be as comfortable with electric vehicles as they are at the beginning of their research on petrol and diesel vehicles because the technology is new. It’s clear that the industry and legislators must start making it easier for would-be buyers.”
FOXY comment about Electric Cars
Major change to motoring habits takes time to gain momentum. The truth is that many motorists we talk to are just getting used to and considering hybrids as an affordable stepping stone between traditional engines and EVs. And clearly both charging points and technician training in garages needs lots of advance planning, attention and safeguards – which are not in place yet.
Whilst we agree that the industry can do more to educate us about the environmental and economic advantages of EVs, the Government still needs to convince us that EVs are the way forward in 2019, rather than hybrids or hydrogen, adding extra incentives to encourage first mover motoring buyers to favour EVs over diesels.