Drivers still wary of electric vehicles

JonathanJune 24, 2014

More than two-thirds of drivers (69 per cent) wouldn't buy an electric car. This is according to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), which has analysed some of the latest government research.

The thing putting most drivers off was the fact that electric vehicles need recharging, which was deterring 40 per cent of respondents, while the distanced travelled on a battery was off-putting to 39 per cent. However, the upfront cost was persuading a third of drivers to keep their petrol or diesel vehicle.

Despite various government initiatives and investments to encourage motorists into driving electric and more eco-friendly vehicles, less than one per cent of drivers already own an electric car or van. According to the figures, it seems few people are thinking of changing their minds too soon either, with just five per cent thinking about buying an electric car.

A further 18 per cent had thought about purchasing an electric vehicle but later changed their mind. 

However, not all motorists are adverse to the idea of ditching the petrol pump once and for all. The survey found that 37 per cent would be encouraged to purchase an electric vehicle if the upfront cost was lower, while 17 per cent would do so if there were more recharging points.

A fifth of drivers would consider buying an electric car or van if the distance travelled on a battery was increased. According to the survey, the most important cost stated was the purchase cost, followed by fuel and recharging costs, maintenance, insurance and vehicle excise duty.

If you aren't completely sold on ditching petrol or diesel, car leasing can offer you the opportunity to try an electric model, without having to stump up a heavy deposit for a new car.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said:  "It is clear that the government have a long way to go to convince drivers that electric vehicles really are the future. On the positive side drivers are not worried about safety or comfort issues, but range anxiety and charging infrastructure remain real stumbling blocks."

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