While the switch to electric vehicles is being encouraged, it seems that the government’s go-green scheme has failed to take into consideration the price of these vehicles and what that means for overall uptake.

New research has revealed that there is an apparent rise in uptake in more affluent areas, while other areas are lagging behind. There are concerns that this could impact the success of the proposed 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars.

Data shows that out of the 172,500 electric vehicles registered, 86,310 are privately owned, and 36% of all EVs are registered in the South East and London, compared to just 2.7% in the North East.

This is Money suggests that this North-South divide is largely to do with the cost of electric vehicles: ‘Even the smallest of EVs, like the new Fiat 500, cost from around £20,000. And drivers wanting the latest technology from brands like Tesla will need to fork out in the region of £50,000 and £100,000.’

As the UK’s average household income currently stands at £29,900 per year, it is clear to see why the switch to electric vehicles may simply not be possible for many drivers.

However, experts believe that the beginning of the UK’s endeavour to make the electric vehicle switch is still a positive one, despite pricing concerns.

Rod Dennis, RAC’s data insight spokesman, said: ‘While starting from very small beginnings when you consider there are around 32 million cars licensed for use in the entire United Kingdom, the growth in the pure electric vehicles is extremely promising.

‘There is a long way to go, not least as only half of these vehicles are in private hands, compared to nine-in-ten of all cars, but it’s clear that the numbers are only going one way.

He also suggested that as more companies invest in electric vehicles, other motorists may have to resort to buying these second-hand in a few years to avoid high prices:

‘The biggest annual rise in the number of vehicles among those licensed by companies, which suggests clear tax benefits given to company car drivers are beginning to stoke demand . It’s vital this continues, as in many cases the new company vehicles of today will be the ones appearing on the second-hand consumer market in three or more years from now.’

While the cost of electric vehicles is having a noticeable impact on uptake in some areas, experts are concerned that other factors are at play when it comes to putting off the switch to electric vehicles.

Price of electric vehicles impacting uptake in some areas

[Image Source: Shutterstock, March 2021]

Lacking infrastructure also impacts electric vehicle uptake

A recent study of Zap-Map (electric vehicle mapping service) enabled experts to conclude that good-quality EV charging point suppliers were lacking, causing concern amongst electric vehicle drivers and those looking to make the switch.

One of the most widely used charging providers, Ecotricity, was deemed unreliable in a Zap-Map driver survey. This is especially concerning as this is a key charging provider installed at many motorway services.

The survey also found that Tesla charging points ranked first overall, with a five-star rating. This, again, excludes drivers who do not have the means to fork out hundreds of thousands of pounds for an electric vehicle and leaves them with unreliable charging points – another clear deterrent.

Technical office and co-founder of Zap-map, Dr Ben Lane, said: ‘As the survey demonstrates, EV drivers are very clear about the factors that make for a good charging experience, with reliability and ease of use being key priorities.

‘A new generation of drivers want to arrive at a charge point and be confident that it will be simple to use and a trouble-free experience.

‘Poor performing networks will need to take a long, hard look at the quality of services they offer if they want to retain their customers as the EV market grows apace.’

Overall, combined issues with electric vehicle pricing, unreliable charging points and lack of infrastructure are all having an impact on the electric vehicle uptake. Without being addressed, it seems that the divide in uptake between areas and lifestyles will continue to grow, putting the 2030 new petrol and diesel vehicle ban in jeopardy.

Would you be able to fork out for an electric vehicle? Are you surprised by the divide in uptake based on location and lifestyle? Do you think it will impact the overall success of the 2030 petrol diesel ban?

Let us know in the comments.

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