The biggest driver putting motorists off electric cars is the upfront cost, reveals new research from Direct Line Motor Insurance. Over 11 million motorists who don’t currently own an electric vehicle (32 per cent) say the upfront cost is their biggest concern, with 11.5 million motorists (32 per cent) believing they are more expensive to run than petrol cars.
But Direct Line analysis found electric vehicles actually cost £107 a year less than a petrol vehicle over a car’s lifetime and costs are predicted to continue decreasing. On average an electric vehicle would cost £3,752 a year over the course of its life, compared to £3,858 for a petrol car with the higher purchase cost for electric vehicles offset by lower running costs, as well as tax and maintenance being cheaper.
Other than cost, the biggest concerns about electric vehicles are lack of access to charging points away from home (20 per cent) and access to charging points at home (16 per cent). Yet, drivers admit they have concerns about charging points. However, nearly a third of motorists (31 per cent) would be happy for an electric vehicle public charging point to be installed outside their home.
Attitudes to the positioning of electric chargers may have to change in many parts of the country, reveals analysis of the provision of electric vehicle chargers by parliamentary constituencies by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), utilising data provided by www.zap-map.com
The constituencies across the country with the fewest public charging facilities are Birmingham Perry Barr and the Rhondda, which both have none at all. At the other end of the scale, Glasgow Central and Leeds Central have the greatest proportion of public charging points per 100 electric vehicles, boasting 139 and 127 respectively, more than the number of electric cars on the roads. Liverpool Riverside and Coventry North East also have more chargers than vehicles.
In good news for electric vehicles, around half (49 per cent) of all motorists – the equivalent of 18 million people – would be happy to own an electric vehicle now or in the future, despite concerns over cost and infrastructure. For the under-35s the number who are keen to go electric now or in the future rises to 64 per cent with 28 per cent – or 2.71 million – happy to own one now.
Ian Exworth at Direct Line, commented: “Electric cars are rapidly becoming an accepted part of the driving landscape as demonstrated by the number of electric vehicles we now see on the roads. Millions are open to owning an electric vehicle, which is brilliant, but many are still understandably concerned about factors such as cost and infrastructure availability.
“It is fascinating however, that it is the younger drivers who are leading the way with nearly two out of three of them keen to own electric cars. Nearly half of all those who say they want to own an electric car now are under-35 which is a real insight into how the roads of the not too distant future will look.”
David Davies, executive director of PACTS, said, “Electric vehicles are not only cleaner but are also safer vehicles as they come with all the latest safety features. They will help to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, and cut casualties.