A new survey from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) suggests that nearly half of UK motorists don’t feel ready to switch to electric by 2035.
At the start of this year, the government announced they were bringing forward the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles and extending this to include hybrids by five years. This means that from 2035 the only new vehicles available to buy will be fully electric. The government pulled forward the ban to help achieve their target of zero carbon emissions by 2050 and give drivers more time to switch to a fully-electric model by then.
Manufacturers are working to increase the number of electric vehicles they produce, with nearly every brand having at least one fully electric or plug-in hybrid in their catalogue and plans for many more in the upcoming years to give you even more choice than ever before.
However, this latest survey by Savanta ComRes shows that many drivers might not be ready to go electric, with 44% of those surveyed not thinking they’ll be ready to go electric by 2035, and 24% saying they can’t ever see themselves owning an electric car.
There are a number of factors holding people back from making the switch. 52% are put off by the higher purchase price compared to traditional combustion and hybrid engines, 44% are put off by the lack of local charging points and 38% said they were worried about being caught short on longer journeys.
Purchase Price of Electric Vehicles:
If you’re looking to purchase your next vehicle and are considering electric for your new car then you might be put off by the purchase price. Due to the technology involved in electric vehicles they generally have a higher purchase price than their equivalent combustion engine counterparts.
As electric models become more widely available and the technology develops we will see the gap between the cost of electric and traditional engines narrow.
Although the purchase price might be higher there are a number of monetary savings that an electric car offers including cheaper running costs and a number of incentives that are in place to encourage drivers to go green. From lower BIK rates, exemptions from congestion charges in low emission zones, no road tax for models under £40,000 as well as government grants on the cost of purchasing the vehicle and installing a home charging unit.
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) recently advised that it has received a surge of applications for plug-in vehicle grants in the last few months. It credits this to both an increase in the number of plug-in models entering the market and the uptake of zero and ultra-low emission vehicles.
Due to the increased popularity OLEV has revised its advice on how long an application will take to process. If you are planning to submit an application then you are advised to do so with as much notice as possible. You can see all the government’s advice here.
Another option if you want to make the switch for electric but don’t want to purchase the vehicle outright would be to look at leasing, which gives you the option to try a hybrid or electric vehicle for a year or two without the full financial commitment of purchasing the vehicle.
Charging Electric Vehicles:
The government has extended their grant for a plug-in charger until 2022-23 so if you have off-road parking and are able to install a unit then you can apply for this.
For renters and property owners who don’t have off-road parking installing a private charger is not an option so a good public charger infrastructure in their area is vital.
Chargers for electric vehicles are being put in a number of public places including; shopping centres, motorway services and public car parks. So if you don’t have the option of installing a home charging unit then there may be local charging points to your home or work that you can utilise if you still want to go for an electric model.
If you want to take a look at available chargers in your area, and across the UK, then carwow’s interactive map shows you all the public chargers available. Take a look at it here.
However, analysis that SMMT have conducted in conjuncture with Frost and Sullivan also shows that a full, zero-emission capable UK new car market will require 1.7 million public charging points by the end of the decade and 2.8 million by 2035.
There are currently just under 20,000 public charging points in the UK, so this is an increase of over 2.7 million chargers in just 15 years.
One of the biggest concerns we see with drivers interested in electric vehicles is the driving range they can achieve. This is particularly a concern with drivers who do a lot of long journeys as charging takes a lot longer than filling up at a petrol station, so with journeys longer than the vehicle’s range charging time will need to be factored in. However, the range of electric vehicles is improving all the time as technology advances.
Are We Ready for Electric?
Higher purchase prices, range anxiety and lack of charging points are all valid concerns. However, these can be overcome with the right strategies on both an individual and national level.
If you are thinking about going for an electric vehicle next then you will want to weigh up which model is best for your driving style and the range it offers to see whether it is the right choice for you yet.
To find out more about electric vehicles then you can take a look at our range of electric guides in our Guides Homepage or give us a call on 0330 221 0000.
On a national level, there are calls for the government to put in a more unified national policy that works with the international developments by various manufacturers.
In a recent press release, the BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said: “Zero-emission vehicle mandates are not the answer. We need to align our electric vehicle strategy with our closest markets in the EU, where grants and incentives have proved much more successful.”
Similarly, SMMT called for the government to further help drivers make the change to electric with long-term incentives for drivers and a commitment to the UK’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Last week they called zero tax on zero-emission capable cars, including plug-in hybrids and a longer term commitment to the plug-in grant.
The SMMT survey wasn’t all negative with 41% of drivers saying they were attracted to the lower running costs and 29% interested in the environmental benefits and encouragingly over a third (37%) of drivers are optimistic about switching to fully electric vehicles by 2025.
Let us know your thoughts on electric and if you’re ready for it in the comments below.