UK Buyers Unlikely To Consider Electric: Here’s Why


NOV 25 2018 BY MARK KANE 57

60% are unlikely to consider EVs, but the remaining 40% maybe will

Earlier this month we received from Select Car Leasing a note about a study which reveals that some 60% of consumers in UK are unlikely to consider an electric car for their next vehicle.

Well, that sounds reasonable to us as the current plug-in market on average exceeds 2% in the UK – in October even over 3%. We have several years to encourage the remaining 40% to consider plug-ins before getting into the 60%.

The interesting part is the reasons why the 60% don’t consider electric cars.

According to Select Car Leasing, here are the problems and answers proposed by the company:

  • 47% said that charging infrastructure is not yet ready
    “There’s too few charging stations – Almost 47% of those who were unlikely to consider an electric vehicle stated that ‘charging stations are still a little hard to find’. However, the charging infrastructure has been built up across the world and it is now predicted that there could be as many as 14 million charging stations globally by 2030. In the USA, the number of charging stations has increased dramatically since 2008, and has more than doubled since 2013. In the UK, the number of charge points has almost tripled between 2013 and 2017.”
  • 39% said that charging time is too long
    “Electric vehicles aren’t good for long journeys – 2 in 5 people stated that a main limitation of electric vehicles was that ‘the slow recharge time meant that they weren’t suitable for long journeys.’ In 2011 the median range for electric cars was 73 miles, by 2017 this had increased to 114 miles, but with some vehicles being able to do as much as 335 miles. If you stick to the recommended guidance of having 15 minutes break for every two hours of driving, you should comfortably be able to manage road trips. See our tips for long distance driving.”
  • 38% said that electric cars are too expensive
    “Electric cars are too expensive – 2 in 5 people stated that they feel that electric vehicles are too expensive to buy. While the purchase price of electric vehicles still tends to be more expensive than their traditional fuel counterpart, there are other factors that bring the overall cost down. Most countries have tax incentives for electric vehicles – in the US, this is federalized with the best rate being Colorado that offers an additional tax credit of $5,000 on top of the federal subsidy of $2,500 to $7,500. Looking at running costs, running a vehicle on electricity is over 50% more cost-effective than running a car on gas, meaning the driver can make back the original expense and then some over the lifetime of the car.”
  • 27% said that reliability and performances are lame
    “Electric cars aren’t as reliable and have worse performance – 27% of people who are resistant to considering an electric car said that the lack of garages that can service or repair electric vehicles was a factor. As electric vehicles are still in their comparative infancy, this issue will be solved as electric vehicles become more widespread. Similarly, almost 1 in 5 saw the battery performance in hot and cold weather as a limitation. While electric vehicles do experience performance loss in very cold weather, they also have some clear advantages over traditionally fuelled vehicles.”
  • 21% said that there is not enough models
    “There isn’t enough choice – 1 in 5 people who wouldn’t consider an electric car stated that the limited choice of make and model were a limitation. This is becoming less and less true every year, while this is still a comparatively new market, the number of models available is increasing every year, as is the variety. In 2017 there were 25 electric vehicle models available in North America, with Porsche, Jaguar and Mini releasing models in 2019.”

The good news is that it seems that step-by-step all those issues are improving. Just eight years ago we started with the first volume models – Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt – and now we are getting accustomed to battery packs from 60 to 100 kWh and DC fast chargers rated for up to 350 kW are reality (7x the speed in 10 years). The number of models, prices, and other factors are better and better every year.

Source: Select Car Leasing

Categories: General


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57 Comments on "UK Buyers Unlikely To Consider Electric: Here’s Why"

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Though service in general is and will continue to be less for an EV, the available service options is a problem. The number of Tesla service centers are doable but much less convenient than the ICE model. Many have to drive a couple of hours to leave their Tesla meaning two vehicles have to make that journey twice. With my Model 3, I have an hour drive. Would be nice if Tesla would allow certain issues to be provided by outside service and leave complex issues to their service centers which next year at this time will have double the number of EVs to service. Legacy manufacturers lack the experience to solve the problems. I have lost the immediate torque driven acceleration in my MY2012 Chevy Volt and the specialist assigned to my Volt has failed to solve the issue. It still functions fine in every way, still gets full AER, and still accelerates normally after a sluggish start. An EV without immediate torque is disappointing. Will try to get back to the dealer after this holiday break but the point of the survey stands. Still, EVs have fewer service issues than the ICE, are much more reliable, and are… Read more »

I believe there’s a battery coolant pump?

Yes and there are breaks, but regenerative brakes don’t need service near as much as a friction brake, nor does a battery pump require service like the design of placing a pump behind a timing belt.

There are no regenerive brakes, it’s done by reversing the the power to the motor.
Battery pump need coolant service but not very often. Friction brakes need service like any other, they tend to rust because they are not used as much as on an ice car. But I would never buy anything else than an ev. Once you go electric you will never go back 😀

Just to clarify regenerative braking is not done by “reversing the power to the motor” its achieved by releasing the accelerator pedal which then uses the vehicles inertia turning the drive motor which through electronics becomes a generator, this puts charge back into the battery. This electrical resistance recharging the pack slows the car without use of friction brakes and some models can be brought to a complete stop.

Yeah, it literally is ‘reversing the power’ – but you bringing this up is a bit of a semantic issue.

I’m sure you realize that M Hovis has been around the block enough to know this.

Your term ‘electrical resistance’ is easily misconstrued – and is in fact wrong since any energy storage operation should never be referred to as a resistance. The car is in fact performing WORK, which is then converted to potential energy for use later.

“its achieved by releasing the accelerator pedal”

Usually. There are EVs which can freewheel when you release the accelerator pedal. Hyundai Ioniq can do this.

Same old..


You’re his son?

These are the questions I am answering everyday when the electric car subject is raised. Of course people are still afraid of EV’s, nobody have ever told them the truth. The usual media still show EVs as slow, unreliable and boring cars which btw are also waaaay overpriced. How is the average consumer supposed to overcome all these false reviews found out there.

Luckily things are slowly going the right way with offerings like the Model 3, Kona and Niro. When I talk about EVs, most people still think EVs are like the I-MiEV with 50 miles of range and get surprised when they hear about the Kona with 250 miles of range. These things take time, but for every new EV sold at least 3 more is delivered to friends, coworkers etc.. because as we all know: Nothing beats the EV-experience!

The technology of EVs are merging so fast that the average people can’t keep up, but soon enough they will stand in a auto-dealer and find them self buying an electric vehicle!

This is actually good news. A couple of years ago, someone ran a similar survey that stated 15% would consider an electric vehicle. The majority did not even know they existed.

How about resident of Great Britain not purchasing electric car because his country makes most of their income buying and selling oil? Ever heard of British Petroleum?

BP is a public company with shares traded on the LSE. It is not government controlled or owned.

Also known in some circles, as “Beyond Petroleum”(BP).

Hopefully, in the distant future, BP won’t be known as the other SA, “Stranded Assets”!

I suppose that is because they sell natural gas now, correct?

Do Not Read Between The Lines

It’s also not called British Petroleum.

The UK is actually an oil importer.

Most of the income in the UK is from Oil trading ?!? I thought more that the banking in “the City” (downtown London) has this reputation.

Also the Oil rich Norwegians (Viking Sheiks) are selling their oil for high profit instead using it themselves — BUT are the most EV utilizing country (per person) on the planet.

Almost all the critics, will be overpased in a few years.

Hilarious, on an island where nobody is more than an hour from the sea, the big worry is not enough range?

Actually it is no more than 100 miles from the sea but you make a good point.

London to Glasgow is 643 km, to give just one major route example. (Land’s End to John O’ Groats is 1350 km, if you want to stretch it…)

That is not very far compared to many places.

But it still needs at least one ICE refuelling or two EV charging operations.
Those routes do have plenty of Charging points ( those in the north of Scotland are mainly thanks to Charge Scotland).

Lets face it… most people are lazy. They want things delivered to them on a plate.
with an EV you have to plan your route a lot more carefully than with an ICE vehicle. In time when 150kW charging points are everywhere the range/charging anxiety will disappear.

For we who currently live in the future of all other electric vehicles, Tesla owners, these problems are already solved. You simply verbally tell your Sat Nav or GPS unit where you want to go… then follow the directions. It calculates where you need to stop and for how long. Since the 120kW SuperCharger network is rarely farther than 150 miles away, its normally not a problem. If the other manufacturers would simply build out the charger net it could easily be solved in the next 2 to 5 years depending on how fast they build to Tesla level. Tesla is still a moving target though… so good luck!

For the average consumer, The cheapest Tesla 3 costs 1 year’s salary in the US. In Britain, which is poorer, the ratio is much higher. The average person is not going to fall for the “gas savings make it cheaper than a gas luxury car” argument. They aren’t looking for a luxury car to begin with.

And that’s the point. Time.

Most of those concerns are legitimate concerns for many people. Yes, for some EVs are cheaper, the range/charging infrastructure near them is good enough, the specific type of vehicle they want is available at the price they want.

The issue is for most people there are still at least one or two legitimate issues that need to be overcome before they jump in to one. They will be overcome, but it just takes time.

Delivered on a plate? what can be easier or more convenient that one’s own refueling station at home? , of course many Brits park on the street,but maybe that can be solved by the gov’t/county?

1350 km (about 840 miles), is a bit of a “stretch”.

In Norway Lindesnes-Nordkapp is 2531 km. It does not hinder EV adoption.

The massive tax incentives for going EV probably have something to do with it though. Not many people are willing to pay more for a car that’s less practical, but many people would be willing to pay less for a car that’s less practical.

In Canada St. Johns NL to Victoria B.C. by car is 7512.93 kms.

643 km is almost halfway across Texas.

Select Car Leasing
That is part of the problem. Is it in their interest to promote EV’s with 500K mile drive trains and much higher residual values as lease vehicles?
Also the loss of the Tax advantage of PHEV’s will hit them pretty hard as lots of most company cars are leased for periods of around three years.

The thing I can agree with is the lack of choice in the volume section of the market. There really is only the Leaf and Zoe to choose from. There is a huge gaping hole waiting for someone to fill it. I’m talking about the under £30K OTR price range.
Renault is decidedly laggardly in promoting the Zoe. I went into my local dealer and her really wasn’t interested and would have preferred to sell me a Kadjar.

As regards Charging points, they are really hidden away in many places. The industry needs to make them easier to find and use. Please no more RFID tags.

The article makes good points that we (as EV advocates) need to be aware of when speaking to the public. It is good to note that both the number of issues continue to decline along with the percentage that would not consider EVs. We must be winning😀

EV and environmental ignorance is mostly as a result of a media that has spent decades keeping all things green – and especially EV-related off the radar, off the TV and as far removed from the public conscience and consciousness as possible.
Worse than that, our media – mainstream and web – has always refused to list out and report on the many, many negatives that come with GASOLINE powered cars. InsideEVs et al also never list out the many financial, environmental and geopolitical consequences of gasoline-dependent cars compared to EVs. The media have “normalized” that refusal to criticize or condemn the many negatives that infernal(sic) combustion vehicles should be criticized for – just as they “normalize” so much else that helps maintain the planet-destroying status quo.
To such an extent that even with gasoline costing $6-8 in Europe/Britain the public remain conditioned only to think about the ostensible EV negatives that the likes of the BBC’s Jeremy Clarkson spent limitless TV time snarling over and scowling at.
Can you imagine the stampede to EVs in the US if the price of “gas” were raised to $6-8 as in Europe/Britain ?!
Paul G

Yet even with the high cost of fuel in europe it’s still more expensive to buy an EV. I’ve been trying to convince my parents to buy a Kona EV for the last few months (they’re looking in to new cars to replace a 15 year old one), but financially it makes no sense for them to do so.

Until that issue is solved it’s going to be a major hurdle to get over for a lot of people.

Sure, if you do high mileage or you’re looking at an executive car in the first place then it may well be economically prudent, but that’s a smal part of the automotive market. Unfortunately in most countries the incentives just aren’t big enough to bridge the gap.

A big majority of people in the U.K. don’t have a dedicated parking spot for their flat and must therefore park on street with no way to charge overnight with electricity from their flat. They have to drive to a charging station, spend precious time charging, and pay more for a charge than someone who’s able to charge at home. Streetside charging from lampposts, as some have suggested, doesn’t solve the problem, since there are about 15 parked cars for each lamppost on a typical street.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Not true.
Do some basic research.

He’s not partial to basic research or any sort of research is my observation.

Rather than just claim “not true” why not try and educate him.

Why is it. “Not true”?

There was a time when there were few paved streets. The motorcar revolution led to paved streets everywhere. The EV revolution will lead to either curbside chargers or wireless chargers buried in the street everywhere that people park overnight.

Problem now? Yes.

Solutions in the future? Yes

Some of these concerns, or perhaps most of them, are legitimate. As the EV revolution progresses and EVs become more mainstream, these concerns will be addressed, and more and more people will use EVs on an everyday basis. Both of these trends will cause the average person to become more receptive to owning an EV.

It’s still early days in the EV revolution. Patience, Grasshopper!

I live in California and own a Tesla Model S. My girlfriend completely agrees with the top 3 reasons and for good reason. The good news is that the market is making progress on this all the time and within 5 years this will be different. And she does believe with my car, there almost are no compromises (long distance is easy).

“47% said that charging infrastructure is not yet ready” As long it isn’t sure that you can leave your EV there over night (usually at public chargers you’re only allowed to park there during charging, so full = remove your EV!), it’s not really usable except it takes max. 15min. “39% said that charging time is too long” The range mentioned in the pricelist etc. is usually not at typ. long distance travel speeds! Like at roughly 130km/h, after 2-3h even the 64kWh battery in the Hyundai Kona Electric is quite empty. And 15min are currently not enough like for that EV, also because most chargers can do max. 50kW! “38% said that electric cars are too expensive […] Looking at running costs, running a vehicle on electricity is over 50% more cost-effective than running a car on gas” At public chargers, charging is usually quite expensive, much more expensive when charging at home. And it costs much time, see “… charging time is too long”. At least here in Germany, I calculated for myself, that the electricity will nearly cost as much as Diesel when driving a Diesel car. “27% said that reliability and performances are lame” Even the… Read more »

In my opinion, charging infrastructure and time to charge are linked. If the infrastructure is sufficient, then it won’t matter if it takes a few hours to charge since people will be able to charge their cars wherever they go. Price and number of models are likely to be addressed in time with technological improvements and increased demand. And reliability and performance are more tied to the manufacturer than to the method of propulsion, and tend to be inversely proportional. Nissan will happily build lots of very reliable EVs with comparatively low performance, and Tesla will build lots of EVs that perform wonderfully but have low reliability.

Well, looking at the picture of that they have as options, I wouldn’t be eager to get an EV either. PHEVs are a waste of money, the available EVs based on ICE platforms in the UK today offer too few miles of range or are boring designs. Tesla should begin to change all that with a viable option based on style, safety and performance with the launch in Europe. Tesla will begin to shake things up next year.

Agreed. The model 3 will be a big hit in the UK and all across Europe. I also expect a fair few business to end up with fleets of Model 3’s as the gas savings are significant.

This is why I really think all the electric car manufacturers need to agree on a single standard for charging plugs and AC/DC charging voltages. That way, we at least fix the “range anxiety” issue because you’ll be able to find charging stations anywhere easily.

CCS is a standard for main land Europe. And there are loads of them from many company’s. Western Europe is no issue. Eastern Europe is a bit behind, was in the south part of cesk republic not long ago. And there are really not many Charteris there. Same for some regions in Germany. It will come though in time. Bit you have to plan the trips beforehand with a EV.

None of this matters as people are waiting in line to get their EVs delivered. It’s just a supply problem at this point. People will convert long before we have manufacturing capacity to make EVs for everyone.

Seeing as electricity is only somewhat more expensive than the average in the states, yet petrol is Multiple Times the price – you’d think that by refueling costs alone, PHEVs and EVs would be far more popular in the UK than in the States.

In china,there are many charging stations provided by the state , but few are available. But TESLA supercharging It’s 100% perfect. We all hope TESLA Model 3 can be produced in Shanghai Dreadnought Factory as soon as possible,because it’s cheaper .

“If you stick to the recommended guidance of having 15 minutes break for every two hours of driving, you should comfortably be able to manage road trips. ”

What? Hmm let’s see. Assume i would have a leaf with 60kWh Battery that can charge at 100kW. Assume i make a medium long road trip of 600km (375miles). After 2h of driving i have travelled 240km and have consumed 45-50kWh. i recharge for 15 minutes and recharge 25kWh. i start driving again. after 150km and 1h, 20 minutes driving i have consumed 35kWh. i have 20-30km range (5kWh) left and must charge again… i recharge for 15 minutes. i gain 25kWh and start driving for another hour. after an hour and 120km i have driven for 510km i charge again for 15 minutes, ….

who does this? nobody. even with 100kW charging a 15 minute pause every 2hours is nonsense. better charge longer more like 30-40 minutes, that would make far more sense. since only two stops (40 minutes and 15-20 minutes) are needed then.

With big battery vehicles now available, most people charge at home with no need for charging stations. Fewer moving parts means less maintence. Batteries are replaceable if a problem develops. Tha actual electric motor will last almost forever especially an induction motor. Most repairs without a lift. Most parts, plug and play. Many people are afraid of change.