We recently ran a Twitter poll asking people what’s most important to them when considering whether to buy an electric car in the future. Were they most eager to see lower prices, more miles from a single charge, more charging points, or a bigger choice of vehicles?
Keep reading to find out what we learned, and what we think the exciting future of electric looks like!
34% of people we polled said lower prices were the main thing that would motivate them to buy an electric vehicle (EV) in future, making this the most popular response.
So how’s the landscape looking right now?
From the end of last year, grants for new plug-in hybrids were scrapped, and all-electric grants were reduced from £4,500 to £3,500, after initially being introduced in 2011. The cut in support for Category 1 vehicles (under 50g/km of C02 emissions with a single charge range of at least 70 miles) was due to reductions in the price of electric vehicles. Understandably, the reaction to this was mixed. According to Jack Cousens, Head of Roads Policy for the AA “this will simply put more drivers off buying greener cars”.
Auto Trader’s March 2019 Market Report suggests that by 2025 alternative fuelled vehicles (AFVs) will be similar in price to petrol and diesel options. However, 41% of people say they are less likely to purchase an electric vehicle in the next three years now that government grants have been reduced.
Concerns around price have also been reflected in a BBC survey, which found that 76% of people think EVs are too expensive.
But whilst initial costs may be higher, running costs are lower, both in terms of essential maintenance and fuel. On a more positive note, the home charge point grant hasn’t changed, and neither has the on-street residential charge point scheme for local authorities, or the grants for electric vans and motorbikes.
To see how much you could be saving, check out our post: Is an electric car cheaper to run than petrol or diesel
More miles from a charge (range)
In our poll, 32% of people said they want “more miles from a (single) charge”.
Range anxiety is a real issue, and it’s something that frequently appears when researching electric vehicles. In an AA/Populus poll, 76% of 10,293 drivers said EVs can’t go far enough on a single charge.
Earlier electric models do have lower ranges, but as technology improves and designs are revised, range becomes less of an issue. In fact, according to Auto Trader, 99.3% of UK journeys are now within current EV ranges. Auto Trader also credits new models which boast at least twice the range, suggesting that range anxiety will decrease.
Manufacturers are aware of this concern; they know that people don’t want to compromise on power or continuously stop to re-charge; they want convenience and a vehicle that will fit in around their life. KIA, for example, recently re-launched the Soul EV, which is now available in either standard or long range. Both surpass the range of the current Soul EV, whilst power has also grown by 84%.
More charging points
In our poll, ‘more charging points’ received 24% of votes.
Charging facilities have a big impact on the practicality of owning an electric vehicle, according to Auto Trader’s 2019 Market Report: “56% of those consumers who wouldn’t consider an electric vehicle as their next car said a lack of infrastructure was their primary reason for not doing so.”
This was supported by the recent AA/Populus poll, where 85% said that overall there aren’t enough public charging points for EVs, but businesses are being urged to help develop a better charging infrastructure.
From July 2019, all government-funded home charging points will be required to use innovative ‘smart’ technology, which will need to be “remotely accessed, and capable of receiving, interpreting and reacting to a signal”.
By 2030, the sale of new EVs is expected to overtake the petrol and diesel market, according to Auto Trader. Not to mention pressure on the government to bring the zero-emission vehicle deadline forwards from 2040 to 2032, as reported by the BBC.
Bigger choice of vehicles
In our poll, a ‘bigger choice of vehicles’ came in last place with only 10% of votes (but, of course, if you can’t afford an electric vehicle or feel charging would be inconvenient, the selection on offer doesn’t really matter!) As prices fall and charging points increase, we expect to see an increase in interest around what’s available, especially as the emissions ban gets closer.
67% of drivers in the AA/Populus poll said there isn’t enough choice of electric models. This doesn’t come as a surprise, and due to the overwhelming amount of petrol and diesel options available, it is understandable that people aren’t willing to move away from a trusted brand or favourite model.
Manufacturers are aware of this, and plans are well underway to add more options to the electric line up: “More than 80 new generation models will be launched in 2019, 31 of which will be plug-in electrics boasting seriously impressive range capabilities.”
Want to see what some of the best options are right now? Take a look at the 12 best hybrid & electric cars to buy in 2019. You can also browse the used electric and hybrid vehicles we currently have in stock here.