Public charging and high insurance hold back electric vehicle adoption

News entry dated 11th Oct 2017

The government is laying out the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) as the path for us to follow, as it sets about fulfilling its pledge to ban petrol and diesel car sales by 2040. However, there are obstacles in the way that prevent people from considering the switch. One of the biggest appears to be the lack of a public charging network. High insurance costs are also proving to be a barrier for many.

Plugging in

According to a report by the RAC Foundation, 80% of EV owners have access to charging stations at their own homes. In addition, 93% of them use the public charging network. Concerns are now growing that, as the number of electric vehicles rises, this network is going to prove a big problem. For example, in June this year, 13% of charging points were out of action. The lack of standardisation of connectors and charging protocols could also result in problems for some EV users.

Another problem is that rapid charging points – at 50KW and above – are crucial for drivers using their electric vehicles for long journeys. However, these same points are useless for plug-in hybrid vehicles if they can only charge at 3.6KW.
 

Quantity not quality

The RAC Foundation report highlights that part of the problem is the Department for Transport’s commitment to quantity rather than quality when it comes to EV charging points. This has resulted in a network that is “unattractive to use and unsuitable for the next wave of EV customers.”

As more and more companies announce they are working on electric vehicles (Dyson is the latest to throw its hat into the ring), the government needs to put far more effort into improving the infrastructure for these vehicles. This is essential if it wants to have any chance of fulfilling its pledge to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2040.

Easy access

Currently, filling up your car with petrol or diesel is something that we hardly need to think about. There are frequent garages with the facilities that we need. This needs to be replicated with the public charging network. Garages nee to offer the right charging stations in the right locations – along with the right tariffs. If drivers are to be persuaded to switch to EVs, they need adequate, widespread and reliable refuelling locations – not the prospect of queues every time they are lucky enough to find somewhere to charge up.

Insurance adds to EV woes

According to Compare the Market, the lack of EV infrastructure isn’t the only problem facing people who want to switch from petrol or diesel vehicles to more environmentally friendly models. New data shows that they will also face considerably higher insurance premiums for their new electric vehicles.

According to quotes on the comparison site, the average premium for an electric vehicle stands at £1,070. That’s a whopping 45% more than for the average petrol or diesel vehicle, which comes in at £740. The reason given for this is that the repair of electric vehicles is more expensive, especially if the battery is damaged in an accident.

What is most worrying is that the government – and, indeed the car industry – seems to have thrown all its weight behind electric vehicles as the way forward. There is a huge lack of other options. Despite this, public uptake remains slow. Of the two million new cars sold this year, just 4.6% of them have been alternative fuel cars. There’s still a very long way to go when it comes to winning the public over to the idea of electric vehicles.

What’s stopping you from embracing electric vehicles? Is it the high insurance cost or issues relating to charging? Let us know by leaving a comment. 

 

Comments

56 Comments On "Public charging and high insurance hold back electric vehicle adoption"

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Martin
Martin

Even though across the globe the effort of car producers increased, UK market seems to be not attractive enough for them. Taking Tesla model 3 as an example – production for right hand drive is planned as the last step. Understandably as UK market is just a small part of their aim. For those of us, thinking about “greener” cars, prices along with low range holding it all fairly back. It would be great if Vauxhall start production of EVs as it is planned for Opel…

Ian Franzen
Ian Franzen

I have had electric cars for 2 years. Both 2nd hand ( £5k and £7k) I live in the North West of England, I have never charged at home although I have a charge point available. The infrastructure for charging is adequate for now with expansion of the system increasing rapidly. The worst problem I face is petrol and diesel vehicles parking at the spaces reserved for EV users.
Now is the time for EVs. The range for each of mine is about 70 miles and is not usually an issue.
EVs are more fun to drive in my opinion.

J Griffin
J Griffin

I think the first problem to tackle is the lorries and the public transport in the major cities. They are the ones who create the most pollution. Bring in legislation to force all lorries, buses, coaches, taxis to go electric in the cities, or be banned. That would be a major way forward. If it works in the cities, the repercussions should spill everywhere. If these major perpetrators find reasons and excuses to reject the changes, then it is never going to work anywhere.

J Griffin
J Griffin
There are a lot of issues for me. An electric car would have to give me the same range I currently get ie about 300 miles on a tank. Every petrol station would have to have at least one charging point so that “filling up” could be as easy as it is now – more charging points if queuing ever became a problem. The charging would need to be extremely swift. The cost of “filling up” would have to be considerably cheaper than it is for petrol; after all, petrol has to be physically transported to the filling stations, adding… Read more »
Allan
Allan

All the points mentioned are valid charging points etc but no one seems to mention the range which is useless unless you are prepared to fork out 80k plus also let’s be practical the government want to get cars off the roads which will end up with the public paying higher taxes to make up the shortfall

Roger
Roger
I really don’t understand why the Gov’t thinks that the general public wants to move over to using electric cars. Until they change the method of generating electricity, all their talk us just so much hot air. This is because in excess of 50% of our electricity is generated by fossil fuels, creating far more pollution than all the cars currently use between them. i personally would not even think about an electric car until the problems of range are solved. My diesel currently gives me 600 miles from a full tank (60 Ltrs) and I wold not even consider… Read more »
Wilfred
Wilfred

When is the government going to realise that petrol and diesel cars are cheaper than electric cars to buy, once they get that sorted people will start buying electric cars

hyden andrew
hyden andrew

I’ll only buy a EV when the UK changes to driving on the right hand side like the rest of Europe!!!

J Griffin
J Griffin

Who the hell wants to be like the rest of Europe?! And that goes for the Euro too. Vive la difference!!

Mal
Mal

Pure battery electric cars will never be an option for single vehicle owners, limited range and lack of charge facilities being the key obstacle. Hybrids have a future with low polluting petrol engines. The real breakthrough in air quality improvement will come when all public transport in towns and cities is electric including taxis, and this is achievable now. Phase out all private diesel transport and real progress will have been made.

J Griffin
J Griffin

I totally agree. The first target should be public transportation – buses, coaches, lorries, taxis, even planes and trains. They are the biggest villains.

John Atwell
John Atwell

I live in a city with very many victorian houses with only on street parking,
I wrote to my MP and he said there would be on street charging points, I can not see charging points being installed on the pavement outside every house without off street parking.
What about the hazzard of many charging cables from charging point to car for people to trip over, or having the cable unpluged in the night.

Doh
Doh

and I’m still waiting for the government to explain how people who live in flats or who have no driveway are going to be able to get their vehicle charged overnight. Anyway why am I worried. By the time this all comes in I’ll be in a rest home or 6 feet under.

Doh
Doh

Batteries need to be more efficient and smaller/lighter. Every time its coming close to a recharge, call into a garage, pull out the old one and slot in a new. Could be 3 or 4 different sizes/charges dependent on the car. Cars would have to be redesigned of course. It need not take any longer than filling up with petrol and going into the kiosk. It wont happen.

J Griffin
J Griffin

But it’s a very good idea!

Wendy
Wendy

On the one hand the government are touting so-called SMART metres to cut our use of electricity at home and on the other hand promoting electric cars, which will need to be charged up at home. The electric companies stand to make a killing out of this!

Anne
Anne
I live in a small rural village in the back of beyond called “York” (sarcasm intended). I have always driven a basic VW Polo which I find suitable for my normal upto 70 mile round trips and town driving. The car is affordable and nippy enough to park easily and I would not want anything bigger, but I also don’t want a tiny little car as I need a decent sized boot. I don’t want an expensive, superbly powerful up market car. As I have solar panels on my roof and a suitable off road parking area near to my… Read more »
EnviableOne
EnviableOne

I am supprised VW dont do an e-Polo, but the Chevy Bolt, Fiat 500e, smart forfour or Renault Zoe should be about the size you are looking for

Anne
Anne

Thanks, I will have a look at those.

Keith Read
Keith Read

I cannot get my car within 25 metres of my home. How am I to charge my electric vehicle? If the local authority put in charging points nearby the local ‘wildlife’ would, if possible, steal the cables, failing that they would just disconnect them and throw them on the ground. If you do not have secure off street parking then the electric car is not an option

bishbut
bishbut

Don’t bother about electric soon it will be outdated other exciting means of ways to power car will soon be upon us Electric charging point everywhere that will be unused Electric is not the answer

Gareth Milner
Gareth Milner

Insurance no different to last car, just had MOT done £27.50 – 3rd service done with the MOT £133.70 main dealer. I think somebody is trying to scare off people from changing to electric cars. Most cars will only take the charge they are intended to take/set to take ie 6 amps hr 10 amps hr or higher, my charger is 32 amps at home but the car takes 6 amps or 10 amps charge it does not matter how power full the charger is the car will only take what it needs and no more.

J Griffin
J Griffin

But I’d love to know how much you paid for your vehicle, and how much it cost to set up a charging point at home, and how much your insurance actually is per year?! These are the real costs.

Maria
Maria

Drivers have enough costs to maintain their vehicle. Lack of public charging and high insurance costs will most definetly reduce drivers from switching to electric vehicles.

john
john
electric cars are not suitable for most people and never will be –the idea that they are cheap is a joke you pay a monthly charge to use charge points ,then when the batteries need changing its £6-8000 –now do the maths how much fuel can you buy for that ? I am in the motor trade have been for 40 years long way to go before they will be a sensible alternative to ICC vehicle most fo the pollution in cities is coming from old buses+taxis –they are perfect candidate for LPG as there is lots of space underneath… Read more »
Biz
Biz

Don’t forget the pollution caused by all those exhausted battery units.

Reg
Reg

We changed our small petrol car, just before the Road Tax changes came in earlier this year. Now retired, we have a very small annual mileage and only use it for short local trips. So we decided to buy electric and charge it at home.

That is until we visited local car showrooms. Without exception, we were told the electric cars were not yet ready for general use and we would be wasting our money by buying one. So we bought another petrol car.

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