More than 70% of drivers, who will eventually have to switch to zero-emission vehicles after the sale of new fossil-fuel cars is banned in 2030, have been so shocked by soaring electricity prices that it has tainted their vision of electric vehicles. One in 10 people say rising electricity costs are the main reason they hesitate to switch to an electric vehicle.
More than 60% say they have been left uncertain by price increases, but other factors have a greater influence against the decision to buy an electric car.
Almost one in four drivers (24%) have a long-term view of soaring electricity prices and have not been deterred from wanting an electric vehicle in the future.
It is believed that many of those who remain in doubt will come around to this view once the household energy price shock subsides.
However, there are still other factors holding back a faster transition to electric vehicles, and AA Chairman Edmund King will speak about them at the Highways UK conference at the NEC.
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The general cost of living crisis is currently the main obstacle to a faster adoption of electric cars.
But if the cost of electricity has skyrocketed, so has road fuel. In particular, the UK’s 11.4million diesel car owners have been shaken by the return of average pump prices to within 10p of the summer record.
However, with home charging and lower maintenance costs, electric vehicles are cheaper to run than their petrol or diesel counterparts.
The AA thinks many drivers left in doubt by energy price shocks will sit still for now and look back to electric vehicles when energy markets stabilize again.
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Mr King added: “Today there are almost half a million full electric vehicles on UK roads, with more models hitting the market every month.
“However, the cost of living and higher electricity costs are deterring almost three-quarters of drivers from making the switch now.
“For some drivers, this is a big psychological and practical leap from proven and reliable petrol or diesel cars to fully electric models.
“However, after making that leap, drivers won’t go back, and the change will ultimately lead to lower running costs and less damage to the environment.”
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Sue Davies, which one? The head of consumer protection policy, commented on the data, saying more needs to be done to help drivers switch to electric vehicles.
She said: “Many consumers want to switch to electric vehicles, but the cost of living crisis and rising energy bills are adding huge pressure on household budgets.
“Who? has found that the upfront cost of buying an electric vehicle is a major barrier preventing drivers from considering one – and rising running costs could still prevent people from making the switch.
“However, our research shows that for people who can charge from home, electric cars are cheaper to run than their petrol and diesel counterparts.
“This won’t be an option for everyone, so it’s important that governments work with industry to develop and support solutions that allow people without off-street parking to charge at a rate comparable to home charging.”
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