THE Government should be doing more to encourage the switch to electric vehicles (EV) – by offering consumer grants, according to a new study
A poll of 2,000 adults found 63% consider the retail price to be the biggest downside of EVs.
Just 15% of those who don’t own an EV are ‘likely’ to make the switch within the next 12 months – but 60% would be more inclined to go electric if the vehicles were cheaper.
The study revealed a groundswell of support for the Government’s pledge that all new cars and vans will be required to be ‘fully zero emission at the tailpipe’ by 2035 – with 45% backing the plan.
But just 21% of all adults think the strategy will be successful – 55 per cent don’t think the promise will be fulfilled and 25% are on the fence.
This comes after Fiat launched its own electric car grant, Fiat E-Grant, offering £3,000 towards the all-electric 500e and 500e convertible.
Damien Dally, Fiat UK managing director, said: “EV ownership has increased significantly over the last decade, however, demand is starting to plateau and there is still apprehension among those who’ve yet to go electric.
“As our study shows cost is the biggest stumbling block for consumers, which won’t have been helped by the Government Plug-in Car Grant ending 12 months ago. We are committed to helping people make the switch, that’s why we launched our own grant.’’
The study by FIAT also identified other areas consumers feel require investment from the Government in relation to EVs. These include charging infrastructure (59%), battery plants in the UK (45%), and tax subsidies (38%), while 22 % believe there should be more money spent on educating as many people as possible on EVs.
Further to this, the research highlighted aspects of electric car ownership which consumers still seem to require further education on.
Such questions include ‘how long does it take to charge an EV?’ (40%), ‘do EV batteries last long?’ (40%), and ‘how much range would an EV really need?’ (30%). ‘Will charging an EV at home raise my electricity bill?’ (27%), ‘does insurance cost more for EVs?’ (26 per cent), and ‘do all EVs use the same charger?’ (23%) are also common queries.
While 85% of car owners polled are yet to make the switch – possibly with questions like these in the back of their minds – those who’ve gone electric appear to have no regrets. The study found 81% of those who’ve made the switch consider their decision to be ‘one of the best’ they’ve made.
Dally added: “The research suggests petrol and diesel vehicle users are keen to make the switch to EVs but there is still plenty of uncertainty. This underlines why it’s important to incentivise people to make the switch while educating them on the benefits of going electric.”