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.