Almost half of British drivers would not consider switching to an electric car amid concerns about range and charging, according to new research. A study of more than 1,000 Brits by insurance firm NFU Mutual found 45 percent of respondents said they would not consider swapping petrol or diesel for electric power in the next decade.
Of those respondents, 58 percent said they felt battery range was their main reason for ruling out an electric vehicle (EV), while 58 percent also cited a lack of charging points. Some 44 percent also said the time taken to recharge an EV would also put them off.
However, 29 percent of those quizzed said they would consider switching to an electric vehicle in the next five years, while a further 16 percent said they would consider making the move in the next 10 years. Seven percent, meanwhile, said they would consider switching to hybrid power, but not a fully electric vehicle.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, NFU Mutual’s research also revealed regional disparities between consumers. Only 47 percent of Londoners say a lack of charging points would put them off buying an electric car, while that figure rises to 70 percent among those in the East of England. Similarly, 68 percent of those in Wales and 65 percent of Northern Irish respondents cited a lack of charging as a barrier to EV ownership.
The same goes for concerns about range, with just 48 percent of respondents in London citing range as an issue, compared with 72 percent in the East of England. People in Wales (70 percent), the south-west of England (69 percent), and Northern Ireland (68 percent) were also most likely to see range as a problem.
“There are reasons to be cheerful in this research, with 52 percent of Brits prepared to consider switching to an electric or hybrid vehicle within 10 years,” said Andrew Chalk, car insurance specialist at NFU Mutual. “And although a significant proportion of the population would not currently consider switching to an electric vehicle, we believe that this number will surely fall if public charging infrastructure continues to grow at the current rate – particularly in less densely populated areas.
“As the country’s leading rural insurer, we know that the disparity in charging infrastructure revealed in the Department for Transport (DfT) figures is clearly felt by those in less-provisioned or rural areas – and this is backed up by our research. Here again, though, our research suggests reasons to be positive, with rural dwellers three-times more likely than urban dwellers to currently own an EV.
“Ultimately, we need to understand the worries consumers have about switching to EVs or alternatively fuelled vehicles. Transport accounts for 27 percent of UK greenhouse gas emissions, so as a country we need to ease those fears if we are to reach net-zero by 2050.”