Does Electric Vehicle Phobia Exist in the UK?

AUG 9 2013 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 7

Remember that poll conducted by Censuswide?

Fear of Dogs = Cynophobia

Fear of Dogs = Cynophobia

Well, the findings from that poll boiled down to this:

A poll conducted by Censuswide shows that over 40% of Britain’s drivers would consider buying an electric vehicle within the next 5 years if certain limitations to EV can be overcome.  Those limitations or barriers are strictly related to cost and public infrastructure, both of which should be a non-issue in 5 years’ time.  Cost isn’t the main issue, according to the poll.  Rather, it’s the lack of a widespread public charging infrastructure that’s holding buyers back.  A full 62% of respondents stated that the lack of charging stations make electric vehicles seem impractical and 72% claim to have never seen a public charger.

Now, Electronic Design is claiming that the results of the poll show that an electric vehicle phobia exists in the UK:

“Why Does EV-Phobia Plague Most British Drivers?”

“The immediate answer to that question could be they are just plain crazy and simply have no regard for the ecological advantages afforded by electric vehicles (EVs). But that’s not it. The reality is that 62% of Britain’s drivers believe national infrastructure falls short in supporting EVs. The sense is that recharging, particularly on long journeys, could be haphazard. In fact, over 70% of drivers surveyed said they had never seen a public EV charger.”

“Well, they’re right. Let’s face it, why would you buy a car that’s much more expensive than a petrol/diesel equivalent, yet becomes an inconvenience when it came to finding vacant charging points?”

Electronic Design continues by saying this:

“However, the apparently EV-phobic attitude of drivers isn’t entirely their fault. The UK Government must shoulder some responsibility for not adequately publicizing certain facts about EV ownership.”

“…There may be 3000 public charging points in the UK, but that’s nowhere near enough to meet demand, especially if the Government plans to reach its target of 1.7 million EV owners by 2020. That works out to one charging point for every 567 EVs…not a viable panacea when it comes to curing EV-phobia.”

One charging point per 567 plug-in vehicles?  Wrong.  This assumption completely ignores that almost every plug-in vehicle owner has a home charger, meaning it’s more like a 1 to 1 ratio.

We find it to be unacceptable that some “news” outlets continue to twist the figures and facts in a way that suits them.

There exists no electric vehicle phobia in the UK.  Ask those that live there.  Or query the automakers that sell plug-ins in the UK.  This phobia is non-existent.

And as for the Censuswide poll, it appears to be lopsided too.

Source:Electronic Design

Categories: Charging, General

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7 Comments on "Does Electric Vehicle Phobia Exist in the UK?"

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“One charging point per 567 plug-in vehicles? Wrong. This assumption completely ignores that almost every plug-in vehicle owner has a home charger, meaning it’s more like a 1 to 1 ratio.”

You have a lot of people that live in multi-dwelling buildings that do not even have a reserved parking space, let alone a charging station. Many more so in the UK and the denser-populated Europe. So even though the early adopters may be better predisposed of having a charging station at home, the masses as a whole do not necessarily do.

So if one cannot have a guaranteed charging at home and cannot have a guaranteed charging at work, the phobia, or at least the apprehension of driving an EV is justified.

Want a demonstration of such an apprehension? Just read the forums with existing EV drivers complaining about ICEing, charging etiquette, and who’s got a priority.

BTW most people do not live in multi-dwelling buildings, most people have a driveway. There are quite a few reasons why they’re not doing that well over here but it really boils down to good old FUD and price. Say the LEAF was £8000 that would make people really sit up and take notice and then they would do their own research perhaps to dispel the FUD but since they are currently more expensive than a similar ICE there’s really no incentive to do anything except continue to believe what they already did.

The vast majority of people I talk to first and foremost ask about charging. How long does it take, where are the charging points, what does it take to have one installed, how safe is it, etc. Most seem to understand that the total cost of ownership of EVs is comparable if not lower than that of ICE cars.

Absolutely – there are a lot of questions and the car companies are not really doing a very good job of answering those questions. For instance I don’t think a polar bear hugging someone has much, if any, positive impact on sales given the uncertainty about the issues you mentioned.

I call it the Top Gear effect. Also vast sums of tax payers money has been spent building the wrong types of chargers in the wrong places.

It looks like things are slowly turning around, we now have a almost useable ‘network’ of rapid chargers a the motorway service stations. I’ll be trying to use this network this weekend for the first time, I think I’ve got about a 50/50 chance of everything going with zero hiccups.

I agree, they would be far better off mandating provision of access to a simple place to plug in at apartments than a public charging network. Most of Europe uses 220v right? Unlike here they would not need a lot of custom installs, just access to existing plugs.

The mandate is similar to what happens with satellite dishes here, which cannot be prohibited by apartments, except it requires action, provision of a plug at or near parking places.

We have rolled out tons of chargers here in San Jose, CA that are all basically unused. Everyone charges at home, rarely do you want to have your car sit on a public charger for the 1 to 2 hours needed to charge it, plus most charge more than home electricity rates.

Brits are a bunch of old fuddy-duddies, who take their car advice from 3 grey haired pudgy old men (top gear).

But aside from that, England has a crappy dirty electrical grid and lousy solar prospects. And instead of finding other alternative sources of energy, or cleaning up their grid, they just throw their hands in the air and claim that EV’s suck instead.