A recent study conducted by the AA has revealed that a large percentage of drivers still believe electric vehicles are too expensive, putting them off making the switch.
The study asked over 15,500 drivers to give their opinion on electric vehicles, with a colossal 81% stating that they thought an electric vehicle would be ‘too expensive’ for them to buy. Many were also unaware of the government support available for drivers looking to purchase an electric vehicle in the form of a Plug-In Car Grant (PICG).
The grant scheme knocks £2,500 off the original price of an electric vehicle, as long as the listed price is £35,000 or below. The grant previously stood at £3,000 but has recently dropped to reflect the current economic situation.
Despite government efforts to push this scheme, 63% of drivers asked in the AA study claimed they had ‘never heard’ of the Plug-In Car Grant at all.
The AA suggests this could be because dealerships take the grant into account and automatically remove it from the listed price, leaving drivers to assume that this is the total cost. However, this has meant that the incentive purpose of the grant is failing to have an effect on those considering a switch to electric vehicle.
The AA believes that the lack in uptake of electric vehicles comes down to a lack of education. Drivers assume electric vehicles are expensive and aren’t actively told otherwise, so, therefore, continue to put off changing their vehicle. It also picks up on the fact that drivers have been used to petrol and diesel vehicles for so long that a change could feel daunting.
Edmund King, AA president, says:
‘After more than a century of the combustion engine leading the charge, it is not surprising that some drivers are only just catching up with all things electric.’
He also alluded to a new scheme that has recently been put into place to serve the purpose of electric vehicle ‘myth-busting.’ The scheme involves a partnership between the AA, electric vehicle review site Electrifying.com and transport minister Rachel Maclean. The scheme will play a part in educating motorists on the topic of electric vehicles, allowing them to make an informed decision when it comes to their own vehicle.
‘We are here to help petrol heads become electric heads,’ says Mr King. ‘We are delighted to join with Electrifying.com and the government to bust some of these myths.
‘The AA is determined to give power and support to all EV drivers and potential EV drivers. As the number one recovery company for EV drivers with more trained EV capable patrols than anyone else, we are here to help. The automotive future is exciting, and we will probably see more change in the next ten years than we have in the last fifty.’
[Image Source: Shutterstock, May 2021]
Electric vehicle pricing isn’t the only deterrent for motorists
While the perceived high price of electric vehicles may be the main deterrent to those considering an electric vehicle switch, other factors are also at play.
The same AA study confirmed that motorists had limited knowledge of electric vehicle charge points, how these work and the government provided support in place to quell these concerns.
The study revealed that 50% of those asked were unaware of the Electric Vehicle Home Charging Scheme. This scheme covers up to 75% of the cost of purchasing and installing a home charging point, with £350 being available to each household.
There were also concerns raised about the capabilities of electric vehicles within the research. For example, a concerning 77% of motorists believe that a fully charged electric vehicle will be unable to travel as far as petrol or diesel vehicles with a full tank.
To add to this, 59% of drivers think that having to charge an electric vehicle is inconvenient with charge times being too long, while 56% revealed that they were concerned about the reliability of the UK’s charging infrastructure.
To conclude the study, 56% of drivers stated that they would be ‘unwilling’ to swap their petrol or diesel car for an electric vehicle due to feeling ‘less confident’ about driving an EV.
It seems that without a ramped up electric vehicle education scheme, these statistics could put the government’s plan to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 in jeopardy.
Are you concerned about the high prices of electric vehicles? Do you share the same concerns as those revealed in the AA study?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
I find the comments by the AA very arrogant! Of course I find the cost of an electric car too high as the fact is that it is! I find the cost of a new family car too high to buy outright so I usually buy a 1 to 2 year old used car. Clearly, an electric car has to come down to the pricing of petrol cars until I would consider purchasing one. It’s that simple!
I agree the quote “lack in uptake of electric vehicles comes down to a lack of education” is very condescending. Making a major purchase, most people do a significant amount of reading and research. If all their conclusions fall into/ too expensive/ range/ battery issues/ charging points etc then there will be little progress until these issues are addressed. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the infrastructure will only be placed where a profit can be made by the private companies this will be contracted out to. Also, this self promotion by the AA for their report and technicians being equipped for EVs.
I also think EV cars are expensive .Concerned about battery life .the biggest thing is range .Is it safe to leave a vehicle on charge ?Because of mindless vandals whilst the vehicle is left unattended is another concern. Charging points need to be secure. CCTV is essential I would have thought!
Clearly, at present, prices are high. But there are a number of Chinese manufacturers producing much cheaper vehicles. One such model is priced around $15,000. This, if it came to Europe would be a game changer.
Range anxiety is not a real issue for many, who do not travel 300 miles in a day. Lower maintenance figures will be a bigger selling point when more people drive them. EV charging is also becoming less of an issue, 60-100 miles can be added in less than 15 mins on new EVs. Everyone should stop when travelling larger distances, no one should try and drive hundreds of miles without a good break in journey.
You should NOT be suggesting CHINESE Cars. It their fault we are in the shit Now. Buy British or emigrate is my policy !
Much of Chinese involvement in British business is at the invitation of British Government so who can blame them for getting involved?
And when you stop for your break you find a que for the chargers – or an
“OUT OF ORDER” sign
I am a Pensioner and I would have to wait a very long time before electric car prices drop far enough for me to afford such things. Also, until the infrastructure is in place to be able to charge vehicles properly away from home, then it would be difficult to plan long journeys away for example. A huge amount needs to be done yet to build up public confidence it seems to me. It is all very well giving grants to assist purchases, but what will happen to our old cars? I have a petrol car that has a current value of 6K. If electric vehicles become very popular, what will happen to existing vehicle values, will we all just lose out? People need a lot more answers and they don’t want to be conned, which is probably why people in this article may appear so reticent.
I am also a pensioner. I traded in my 5K diesel last July for a Nissan Leaf, with a 62 KWH battery and overcoming the reluctance of my spouse and went electric. Have not had any problems in the change process save for the arranging my own charger and persuading the management company to grant me permission for the installation. Usually charge up for free at my local Tesco ( 2 hours free charge gets me about 25% of battery capacity) which is incorporated with the weekly shop. Longer journeys are planned and start off with a fully charged battery and topped up ‘enroute ‘ , more expensive on a Motorway but much less per mile the petrol or diesel. The unexpected downside is my spouse, whose initial reluctance to go electric has now replaced by enthusiasm to drive the car to the extent that I rarely get behind the wheel.
EV cars take their weighty fuel with them all the time,petrol/diesel cars get lighter and therefor more effective as they use fuel. EV batteries are supposed to last 8 years. A local garage who service EVs told me that 3 years seemed to be a more realistic limit. They also told me that a new battery costs £6000 and that the cars they serviced had 3 batteries.Oh dear!
I certainly wont be buying an electric car – poor range and slow recharge. Might be ok if you have a v short commute but for going any distance forget it. All a pipe dream unless we start building nuclear power stations now.
Agreed, more nuclear power required but we don’t have the knowhow to build them since the Thatcher years (that’s not party political – just a fact). Have to rely on the Chinese and French and then be held to ransom by them if they so wish.
i am semi-retired and take the car out once a week – electric would be ideal for me except that at least 4 times a year I do journeys that take most of the day – I would have to recharge and how would I do this without adding hours to my journey? Economically i should not really run a car, but hire one and use taxis but I like the convenience and i have always enjoyed driving. cars have to be second hand and how does this work with elctric cars and their batteries – all too complex. I am also not convinced that with the batteries consumption of serious metals and extra power generation that this is the green future at all. Here’s hoping hydrogen becomes usable
Ian what you forget is that hydrogen is produced by electrolysis which requires a lot of electricity. Then you put the hydrogen in your car and the process turns it back into electricity to power the car. With the production of the hydrogen then turning it back into electricity are efficiency losses which in reality makes the hydrogen power not such a good idea as the ‘experts’ like to make out.
“Then you put the hydrogen in your car and the process turns it back into electricity to power the car.” Not true, the petrol engine can be converted to run on hydrogen. A colleague did this over 20 years ago!
Thanks Dave but you should be aware that hydrogen powered transport is already deployed all over Europe. All the new forms of power have drawbacks just like the old ones. if you are going to be unable to buy petrol then i need a transport which has the same characteristics, range etc. electric just does not cut it. I used to work on the road and would have had to recharge at least every day with the mileage i did.There are many new ways of accessing hydrogen both in research and in production. I suspect that there will be a range of ‘fuels’ used for different purposes in the future.
The only way electric cars are going to come down in price is if more people buy them, and economies of scale come into force. People are not going to buy them if the prices stay high. So it’s chicken v egg. I think many potential purchasers are also worried about public charging points, with their confusing variety of ways to pay and rates of payment.
EV’s secondhand; let alone brand new ones; are far to expensive to even be considered by the lower paid and the retired, which is a massive part of the market for vehicles. And you get no ‘grant’ as a new owner would if you buy second hand. EV’s for the masses are currently not able to go as far without recharging as an IC car with a full tank of fuel…that is not a belief, it is a fact, unless you own a £35k Tesla…and we can all afford one of those…NOT ! (Besides, their reliability is not so good according to recent surveys).
Perfectly serviceable EV’s with battery problems should by law be refurbished and sold to the lower paid/retired community at a fraction of the cost, that would be the way forward.
After driving Mercedes E and S classes for the past 40 years, I decided to look into the electric market. I was sick of Mercedes cars dropping in value like the proverbial stone, and also the ever increasing price of diesel. Having looked at what was out there, I decided to test drive an MG5, the only electric estate car currently available. My expectations weren’t high, like others I thought electric cars were very expensive to buy, had poor range, and took a lifetime to recharge. I was very impressed with the test drive, comfortable, quick, and extremely quiet. I asked the local dealer if I could take the car for a 24 hour extended drive, after all a change of such magnitude needs careful consideration. I took the car for a 150 miles drive, and in all honesty liked it more every mile I drove it. On returning the car to the dealership, I was still unsure, yes I loved the car, but was the downside of limited range really practical. I sat down with the Sales Manager explaining my concerns, but when he offered me a £9000 discount on the retail price, it became a no brainer. I took delivery on the 1st March and to date I can only say that I am absolutely delighted with my purchase. Insurance cost was comparable to the Mercedes, zero Road Fund Licence, and it’s working out at just 4p a mile to run it.
From someone who said I wouldn’t be seen in an electric car, I am totally converted, and would recommend electric as the way forward.
And you obviously work for MG
Any time the Government are pushing people to buy something only means that they benefit from it not us,If people buy electric cars a few years down the line they will turn around and scrap them saying it was a bad idea and then we are out of pocket. As usual they want us to buy them when they have not done proper research and have no back up to support it. (When the Batteries are destroyed they cause more pollution than present vehicles)
My use of a vehicle is within 30 kms of home and then two or three times a year, a trip of 700 kms, which I can do in less than ten hours. Tell me which electric vehicle can do this range, in this time?
Apart from the initial cost…..£35,000 for a car at the bottom end of the scale! I would be worried about the availability of charging points, how long it takes to charge, possible vandalising of the charging points/cables, as well as the cost of having a charging point installed at my home. A miniscule grant of a couple of grand from the govt isn’t worth it. My final point is: these vehicles are meant to be cleaner than diesel and petrol but you have to factor in the cost of the (usually) lithium used in the batteries. Plus you’re just moving the pollution produced from the vehicles as they’re driven around to the power stations producing the power for the battery charging.
I’ve said it in a previous article and I’ll say it again. The infrastructure to support everybody converting to electric vehicles is nowhere near in place and with this Country’s track record in providing the necessary infrastructure I don’t think it will be for a hell of a long time. The government will probably give contracts to the ‘friends’ of the Cabinet to enable them to milk the motorist and the public purse strings at the same time and will only provide it initially where maximum profit can be made. Think mobile phone/broadband coverage where, for the latter, some rural areas are still in the dial up modem stage.
Private Companies should not be let loose on such important infrastructure as the provision will be patchy at best. It needs to be government controlled using taxes they should be chasing from tax avoiders( Mainly Massive Corporates) and tax dodgers who fall into many categories of business large and small. If this got half the publicity on the front pages and social media pages of the right wing press as those so called benefit scroungers ( Which I don’t condone) we might get somewhere near the tax returns we should. For fraction of what they spend chasing benefit fraud the returns would be far greater but as usual white collar fraud is seen by a lot of people as being OK in their eyes. The money collected would more than cover the cost of providing infrastructure for all if the government ideal of reducing carbon was at all credible. They will quickly abandon it if it does not suit their narrative of staying in power
As for the Electric Vehicle Home Charging Scheme, a lot of poorer people live in Terraced streets where you’re lucky if you can park anywhere near your house to use a charging point. There’s also the question of cables trailing across pavements causing a trip hazard if recharging from a point if it was possible to install one. Again, only the better off with their own drives/garages will benefit from such a grant.Allied to the price of a bog standard electric car, it all seems geared to getting the lower sections of society off the roads so that self satisfied few can have the roads to themselves.
It’s not just charging “at home”. What happens when you travel any distance in the uk? You have different connector problems and “out of order” problems, and that is before you arrive on the continent. I could see myself keeping my old car for long trips and just using an electric car for little local use. And we have no public transport available so …..
Excellent summing up of the current situation.
Yes. There may be improvements in battery technology but as ever, the reduction in pollution is not what it might seem. We will still need power stations.
As for where you live, terraced streets in inner cities and tower blocks – how do you connect to charging points there ?
Dont bother asking the Government !
We live in a block of flatss so cpuld not have s personal chatging point, however we dont hsveva personal petrol statoon either so it doesnt make a great deal of difference.
At this time I could not afford a new electric Vehicle, they would also have to come up with some sort of self-charging unit to fit in the car while you drive, as putting electric charging points in rural areas would cost the government millions and they would not be willing to spend that even though they go on about people changing over to electric Vehicles, so a self-charging unit that fits in the car a when its manufactured would be the only solution, also the battery would need to be super cooled to prevent overheating and exploding or leaking, whatever the situation surrounding the use of high powered Battery’s, government are full of big ideas to clean the air, but never willing to input hard cash, cycling routs are a good example of this, plus they need to make it within reach of the working classes who after all are the biggest majority of drivers on our roads, apart from that other country’s are not trying as hard as this country to clean the air and with India and china way behind us all it won’t make very much difference that I can see.
Homer, there are self charging cars, they are called hybrids and have a fairly small petrol engine to charge the battery or power the car directly if required. Pointless really since it defeats the object by still using petrol.
Not totally pointless, as if you are crawling in traffic your I.C. engine is off so cutting pollution for quite a few miles.
I may be cynical but since the govt. give £2000 grant towards the purchase of a new electric car isn’t there a likelihood that the manufacturers settle on a price for their cars and then add £2000?
No you are not!
Exactly the same situation when house buying is subsidised, as with the present – temporary – stamp duty tax break. House prices have simply shot up to absorb this.
EVs are expensive. The driving experience is boring (I don’t like automatics) and the “recharge fear” is real. People say that it’s not a problem because you can have a coffee while the car is charging. I actually want to get from A to B, not sit around drinking coffee chain beverages I don’t want while my car tops up (if there are any working charging points free). Hydrogen fuel cell technology should be promoted instead.
Electric vehicles are far too expensive. The running gear on an electric car is basically the same as that of a petrol or diesel vehicle except that you take out an internal combustion engine and install an electric motor and battery instead. If you think of the complexity of an internal combustion engine with all the machining etc that is required and then compare it with an electric motor and battery, the two just don’t compare. The electric motor/battery setup is far easier to achieve given that the motors are wound by a machine with very little human intervention. I understand that they need to claw back some R & D money but still, they are taking the public for a ride (forgive the pun). I believe we are being drip fed technology as usual. They flog us electric cars that at present rely on a battery to be charged, then in years to come, when the market is flooded with plug in cars, they will then be flogging us hydrogen powered cars that wont need plugging in and telling us its the best thing since sliced bread.
For WEALTHY people.
Too expensive for me.
Not enough charging points.
Problems charging vehicles if you do not have a driveway
OR LIVE ON THE 15TH FLOOR OF A TOWER BLOCK.
If you run out of battery you can not simply go and get a “Can of Electricity”
The AA really are on a different planet.
Irrespective of whether people are unaware of the discount EV are too expensive.
Other major drawbacks are
EV are fine for round town but not for long journey, holidays etc
Another problem with any GOVT inormation a schemes is that no one believes them or trusts them
I currently drive a diesel-powered Vauxhall Zafira, so am unsure what changes (if any) may be forthcoming as a replacement fuel source. This apart, I also own a Honda step-through bike (petrol fuelled) and a two-stroke petrol-powered Vespa Cosa scooter.
I am considering having the scooter converted to a battery-powered electric motor/driven unit should this become an issue at some point in the future.(the Scooter retailer from which I obtained the Vespa now offers a complete replacement of the engine/rear wheel power source.
I’ll be keeping an eye on this conversion option, as it develops, given that there are a large number of classic two-stroke powered scooters on the road whose owners like to maintain them in good fettle, so this could become a viable option for them.
In the meantime I’ll be interested in any suggestions/comments that may be forthcoming.
I knew of the Grant – reduced to £2,500 – but even with that taken off the original price, any electric car is far too expensive. Until the costs come down considerably, I for one will not be purchasing a new EV!!
I would love to see the statistics comparing the the percentage of new vehicles compare to second hand car ownerhip. I would bet my house on the following:
1) The highest percentage of car ownership in the UK is of second user vehicles, simply because the higher percentage of people cannot afford to go down the new car route.
2) Even if you went down the new car route, buying an internal combustion engine vehicle is still a) cheaper and b) on the whole provide better range and refuel times than electric.
Electric vehicles upfront costs prohibit the vast majority from ownership. Simply pumping up the cost of running a vehicle by increasing taxes on internal combustion engine powered vehicles is not going to be an incentive to switch to electric, as the cost amortised over the life of the vehicle is manageable, but the high upfront cost excludes you. HP repayments become unmanageable for a high purchase price. Leased vehicles make sense as you can constantly upgrade, but you are forever paying. I bought a luxury vehicle I could never afford new, second hand and now own it outright. It is a far more economical way of doing things for individual finances. If you are rich you can do what you like!
The biggest uptake will be when business fleets take to electric cars and the second user vehicles come to market, but that will only be any good if second user vehicles come with a newly replaced battery pack, as at the moment you effectively only get about 8 years out of them. You cant buy a second user electric car with a duff battery.
Then there is the lack of off-street parking for charging.. lots to resolve before they become fully adopted.
Regarding electric cars, i dont think there has not been enough information given about them.
You have to go and find out yourself it needs some information given perhaps in the newspaper or booklets sent to shops so you can pick one up.
Everyone has different idea on the situation from what i read, if we had the facts we would know where we stand
Electric car Prices are A JOKE !
Those buying a fossil fuel vehicle in 2029 may find that the resale value holds up nicely.
As people get weaned off petrol and diesel, the goverment stands to lose a huge amount of tax collection, as 80% of the price at the pump is tax. They will then start to find new and innovative ways to shift this tax burden onto drivers of electric vehicles.
There is precedent to this… diesel used to be cheap as it is more plentiful than petrol. So what did the government do? They jacked up the taxes so much, it is now more expensive than unleaded per litre!
I looked into buying an EV last month: £30k for small short-range hatchback, £40k for a standard short-range SUV, £50k for a medium sized, long-range saloon/SUV; one to two hour increases on a 200 mile journey; reliability issues where cars won’t charge ie your stranded; surcharge for over-staying. No thanks!
Electric vehicles, even with the plug-in grant, are still too expensive. Filling stations are now having charge points installed, what are you supposed to do while your car is charging. They are not the most hospitable place to be for a long stop. These are only a sample of my reservations.
I have a hybrid and intend changing to electric with my next car. My only complaint is the price of servicing these vehicles. I think the future is for electric cars, cleaner and better fir the environment we are trying to change.
[…] been developing new EV models. However, EV adoption has been quite slow owing to factors such as high costs and limited charging […]
And how will the the rather fragile national grid cope if we all started using ev’s … There are rumours that the national grid is almost at capacity – but you don’t here any hype on this when the government is financially coercing the move to ev. Or how they’ll have to raise the black hole in tax revenue that will result result from the decline of combustion engine related taxation, fuel duty, vat, road ‘fund’ licence, vehicle servicing etc.
Or the quiet environmental impact of materials (battery) mining, end of life ‘recycling’ and the risks from a lithium battery fire!
And as for hydrogen many car owners can’t even replace a headlight lamp correctly – trust them with hydrogen and under pressure!
Don’t ask real world questions, they’re awkward for politicians and corporations?
Manufacturers claimed range is based on travelling at 45- 50 mph with a ambient temperature of at least 15c. Practically every manufacturer says at temperatures as low as 8c expect to reduce your range by 45% and this is without using any other electrical items such as lights, heater etc. So the realistic range is insufficient. And don’t dare to travel at 70 mph or the range drops below 50%. Manufactures recommend not to charge batteries above 80% as it reduces battery life, so there’s another drop in claimed range. It’s said that the average battery life is 8 years, so who in their right mind would buy your 5-6 year old vehicle, apart from a scrap merchant.?
Do you own a caravan ? If so what are you going to tow that with ?
Has anyone noticed the price of electricity or that there is 20% VAT from charging points away from home?