Only one per cent of UK drivers owns an electric car, according to a poll carried out by Auto Trader.This is despite the fact that 62 per cent of women and 39 per cent of men ‘care deeply’ about the impact their cars have on the environment.
Much of this apathy towards electric vehicles comes from the fact they are relatively expensive to buy – despite most electric cars qualifying for a £5,000 government discount, originally introduced in January 2011.
Most of those polled weren’t even aware such a discount existed. 74 per cent think the Government should be doing more to publicise the benefits. 73 per cent said that national TV campaigns would help spread the word. 49 per cent believe educational talks to children in schools would help, whilst 42 per cent think it should be part of the school curriculum.
Despite many motorists claiming to ‘care deeply’ about the environment, just 1% rated this as an important consideration when buying a car. Purchase price and appearance remain the most important factors when snapping up a new motor.
Despite the benefits of driving an electric car, (they are cheap to run and generate no exhaust emissions) motorists are still reluctant to part with their hard earned cash becaue even with the discount electric cars are still more expensive to buy than their conventionally-powered counterparts.
Other barriers to entry include the perception that there are a lack of charging points. Four in five motorists say they have not seen an electric car charging point within five miles of their home. They also have a limited range, take a long time to recharge and are percieved as being difficult to sell on.
Jonathan Williams, Group Marketing Director at Auto Trader, said: “The good news for car manufacturers as revealed in our Owners Guide is British motorists are taking an interest in electric vehicles- when made aware of the benefits and cost savings. However, we’re still a long way from convincing motorists to make the switch.”
At the end of the day, electric cars aren’t yet attractive enough propositions for UK motorists. Despite the Government’s £400m investment, and a further £500m on its way in 2015, the general public remains unconvinced. A £5000 ‘incentive’ from the Government just doesn’t seem enough.
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