Nine in ten motorists who have already made the switch to an electric vehicle say they won’t be buying a petrol and diesel car again, according to research.
With longer ranges from the latest models and improving charging infrastructure, EV drivers say they are able to complete journeys over bigger distances, with a quarter saying they’ve used their battery cars for a single drive in excess of 300 miles.
Zap-Map says the study provide ‘strong evidence of a continuing shift in consumer attitudes towards EVs’ and that ‘those who plump for electric in the New Year won’t regret it’.
However, a separate report by Auto Trader says the UK risks being ‘starved’ of affordable electric vehicles following the Government’s decision last month to cut grants towards their purchase – the second time in 12 months that it reduced the subsidy towards new battery models.
Happy to continue charging ahead: Nine in ten EV owners said they will never go back to owning a petrol or diesel car, with improving ranges and charging infrastructure big draws
The charging app surveyed 3,306 electric car owners – one of the largest polls of early adopters – before the end of last year.
The study found that 91 per cent of drivers are ‘extremely happy’ with their EV and eight per cent said they would consider returning to a car powered by fossil fuels.
Less than one per cent of those polled were adamant they would go revert back to owning a petrol and diesel motor.
Zap-Map says the poll results are ‘remarkably similar’ to those of last year, indicating that this year’s influx of new EV drivers are as pleased with their decision to make the switch to electric as their 2020 counterparts.
Many of the respondents to the survey were indeed first-time EV drivers. More than 48% of respondents said that their current vehicle was their first EV, with 28 per cent making the purchase in the previous 12 months.
Much of the positive reinforcement was around low running costs and improving driving ranges.
Drivers were asked in the survey about the furthest distance they have travelled in an EV in a single journey.
More than half of the respondents (53 per cent) said they have driven more than 200 miles in their EV in a single trip.
Just 1% of the electric vehicle owners polled by Zap-Map said they would definitely go back to a car with a petrol or diesel engine
The study is said to provide ‘strong evidence of a continuing shift in consumer attitudes towards EVs’ and that ‘those who plump for electric in the New Year won’t regret it’
The figure shows that drivers are habitually using their EVs on longer trips, and should put to bed concerns over the range of EVs, at least for the average driver, given that the average car journey in the UK was just 8.4 miles in 2019, according to the Department for Transport.
Furthermore, almost a quarter of respondents said they have driven more than 300 miles in one trip – with over seven per cent doing the long haul and driving more than 500 miles in a single journey.
For around a third, between 101 and 200 miles was their longest trip in an EV, while for 15 per cent it was less than 100 miles.
Some 7% of the drivers polled said they have completed single journeys in excess of 500 miles using their EVs
Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder of Zap-Map, said the research is further ‘evidence in favour of electric vehicles grows more compelling every year’.
She added: ‘For the second year running we’ve seen that those who make the switch to electric simply don’t look back. It’s also clear from the distances EV drivers have travelled that concerns over range and other historical challenges of owning and running an EV are increasingly a thing of the past.’
The results of Zap-Map’s poll come at a time of record-breaking sales for the EV industry.
The latest figures show that sales of battery-electric vehicles accounted for almost one in five of all new car sales in November, a growth of 110 per cent compared with November 2020.
Trudy Harrison, Transport Minister, said: ‘These survey results show that drivers are becoming increasingly confident in making the switch to electric vehicles and I hope this data encourages others to consider going electric as we work towards the UK’s ambitious net-zero targets.
‘We’ve committed £2.5billion to accelerate the rollout of zero emission vehicles and charging infrastructure across the country, ensuring the transition is as simple as possible for motorists, as we take steps towards a greener transport future.’
Government’s grant cuts could curb demand for EVs in 2022, experts warn
Online used cars sales platform Auto Trader says Britons are being ‘starved’ of affordable electric cars after minsters cut the plug-in car grant in December for a second time in 2021.
Last month, the Government reduced the scheme to just £1,500 and cut eligibility to only models costing less than £32,000.
It had previously offered buyers of new EVs up to £2,500 off the price of a battery vehicle up to the value of £35,000 as of March 2021.
The latest cuts mean EV grants being offered to UK motorists are far less valuable – and enticing – than what’s being offered elsewhere in Europe and could scupper the recent boom in demand for battery motors.
Grants for new electric cars were in December slashed by 40% to ‘enable taxpayers’ money to go further´, according to the Department for Transport said
Schemes in other countries are three times greater than those available to Britons, with Germans being offered £5,000 more on average than motorists in the UK.
Which electric vehicles are currently eligible for the reduced plug-in car grant?
Just 18 EVs are currently eligible for the recently-slashed plug-in car grant – find out which ones in our full guide
Originally launched in 2011, the Plug-in Car Grant offered up to £5,000 off the price of any new EV.
But a decade later, transport ministers have bludgeoned the value of the subsidy to just £1,500 and capped its availability to models priced up to a maximum of £32,000.
This means all expensive models from the likes of Tesla, Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Jaguar are all priced out of the scheme.
Before the grant was cut, some 27 models were eligible for the grant. Since it was scaled back at the end of December, only 18 models on sale qualify for the £1,500 subsidy.
If lower grants does curb appetite for affordable electric cars, manufacturers may choose to focus on markets such as France and Germany where the incentives on offer both to consumers and the automotive industry are far more generous.
‘Most European countries have set less ambitious targets than the UK for the end of petrol and diesel sales, yet the measures they have put in place to drive EV adoption are more substantial, which will help to make EVs more affordable,’ Auto Trader says.
‘While more electric vehicles are being introduced into the UK, many of the cars that have the features, range, and space required by most drivers aren’t yet affordable enough for the average household.
‘There are just four EVs priced below £20,000 at present, all of which are either superminis or city cars, which doesn’t give consumers enough choice to encourage widespread adoption.’
Many EV’s are currently around £10,000 more expensive than a petrol or diesel equivalent.
More than a third of drivers polled by Auto Trader last year said the upfront cost for EVs was a key barrier, which explains why the majority of purchases last year were almost exclusively from the UK’s wealthiest postcodes.
Six of the top 10 EV hotspots are to be found in affluent areas of London, including Putney and Kensington.
Compared with the car buying average, those with the highest interest in making the switch to electric are twice as likely to have a household income of £75,000 or more.
Electric car grant has been slashed to just £1,500 as of 15 December 2021, down from the £2,500 amount when it was last cut in March last year
Auto Trader’s commercial director, Ian Plummer, said: ‘The Government’s current approach of reaching for sticks instead of carrots could have serious consequences for mass EV adoption.
‘The UK has set an ambitious target for the widespread use of electric vehicles, but the incentives in place to help drive this change are anything but.
‘The subsidies on offer do little to address the significant cost barrier preventing many drivers from making the switch. This coupled with the decision to favour regulation over incentives could compound the problem by encouraging manufacturer investment elsewhere in Europe.’
Plummer added: ‘Increasing the UK’s subsidies will help to eradicate the cost barrier for many hardworking families, stimulating the demand needed to make the country’s automotive market competitive and attractive for car makers.’
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