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.
[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.
Something that hasn’t yet been addressed is range. If I want to drive from Oakham to Edinburgh, I can’t do it without stopping somewhere to charge the vehicle, and that’s not a five minute job. Probably turns it from a one day drive to two.
Additionally batteries degrading is a big issue. Knowing that you vehicle isn’t going to lose 30% of it’s capacity in 3 years when range already is poor will be an important factor. Some of us don’t plan to change cars every 2-3 years
All the studies appear to show that EV batteries will still provide 90% capacity after 8 years, so your comment about losing 30% in 3 years is very wide of the mark. Did you read the 30% comment on anothe Petrol Prices comment blog? PP does appear to be a place where petrolheads try to scaremonger those considering EVs
Un-researched rubbish being spouted here.
Firstly, my house is some 30/40 metres away from the nearest road. There is no vehicular to my house.
Secondly, I have no designated parking spot so where can I possibly charge my vehicle at home? What about high rise tower occupants? Does this means 50 metre extension cables dangling from windows and draping across pavements?
Thirdly, the cost of such vehicles is ridiculous. The whole philosophy of these electric vehicles is wrong; we need much lighter vehicles, designed from scratch, not rip the IC engine out and replace with an electric motor and put a battery in place of the fuel tank! New cars need to be glass fibre bodies, lightweight chassis, 50 mph max speed, 100 miles range, more functional and fewer refinements. This idea would serve most people’s local requirements. Longer journeys should be via a cheap, efficient public transport system or a more substantial vehicle should be available to hire.
Until then, I’ll continue with my dirty diesel.
Why is it I have. Never seen any reports on-towing a caravan with an electric car eg how far would it get
One of the big problems that needs overcoming is how do you charge cars if you live in an apartment block.. . UK power are going to have to put the infrastructure in place in order to provide charging points and this will come at considerable expense. The government will give you up to £350 provided you have bought or leased an electric car. That no way covers the infrastructure costs if you live in a block of flats.
Evs have long way to go to become ‘everyday’. Cost is prohibitive but companies may well buy them for staff. Ordinary motorists as I am will stick to gasoline for as long as possible, well past 2030 as my current Mondeo is 16 years old this year and works fine. I shall buy a new car later this decade to last into the 2030s but as I am nearly 74 I take each year as it comes. I cannot see older drivers rushing to EV especially as you need to be tech savvy finding those charging points often hidden away in odd places. Imagine the queue for those that are working at service stations when everyone has an EV? I love my 400+ mile range and then a 10 minute fill-up.
I have been considering buying a used EV but worries over battery health is what is putting me off. Another worry I have is over recharging as I live in a terraced house in the North West, so with no off street parking available to me I wouldn’t be able to have my own at home charging point. This is probably one of the reasons contributing to the North/South divide in EV take up.
Electric vehicles are fine for use in urban environments as a means to improve air quality, and as a second car provided the price is right. Currently the purchase price is way out of reach of Joe public. For longer journeys the internal combustion engine wins hands down. I see no reason why the two cannot operate side by side for the foreseeable future, the infrastructure is in place, and it will be a long time, if ever before a battery powered vehicle will provide the convenience and versatility of petrol or diesel. The internal combustion engine still has scope for improvement to its emissions. What we don’t need are overpowered performance vehicles which have no place in the modern environment. I think governments will come to realise they have got it wrong with the proposed ban and a U turn is on the cards.
Like many others in the U.K. I have no private parking so no site to fit a charging point. Until a way to install street charging at fair prices there will never be a decent uptake by the majority of potential buyers.
Ideally, you want to be able to charge your car at home when possible but I live in terraced street without the benefit of ‘resident parking only’. The street’s position in relation to the nearby town means it’s first choice for free parking for those that don’t want to pay to park in the numerous car parks provided. Hence, I’m lucky if I can get a parking place in the street never mind outside my house. Also, as I have no drive, the charging cable would have to go from my frontage over the pavement . How long would the cable last with the thoughtless actions of the many miscreants who walk from the town through my street? Especially on a rowdy weekend night.
Relying on the paucity of reportedly very poor charging stations available does not appeal so I’ll be driving petrol vehicles as long as I’m able to. Until the powers that be sort out the financial hurdles, particularly in the less well off north east where I live, and lack of decent charging infrastructure I can’t see a lot of people wanting, or even being able, to go electric in the forseeable future.
As usual a noble ideal with little thought of the practicalities of it being realised.
While cost is a major factor, the actual practicality of charging is for many the main issue.
I live in a village 10 miles or so from my local district council of Sevenoaks, most houses have more than one vehicle, most houses can not charge as home as we don’t have driveways etc. so charging at home is out. For those ‘green’ folks suggesting we should switch to public transport, a 10 mile trip by car to Sevenoaks takes around 30 minutes cross country. To do this by public transport on a good day it is just under 2 hours – hence most households have multiple vehicles.
Local supermarkets that have petrol stations can normally be found with vehicles queued at the pumps, now if you take over 90 minutes to charge instead of 10 minutes to fill-up, there is no way this is going to work. The whole supermarket car-park would have to have charging. Currently the nearest public charging station is only a 50kWh and for a small EV (i.e. Leaf e+ with 50kWh charging 20% to 80% takes around 90 minutes).
Whilst I agree with much of what you say, it does not take 90 minutes to charge a Leaf, more like 30 to 40 minutes (assuming you’re flat), just time to have a P and queue up for a coffee. I must admit I live in Scotland where the charging infrastructure is better than most of the uk and I am lucky enough to have off street parking so rarely use public charging points, but I have travelled to Cornwall in my EV on more than one occasion with no real issues charging on or near the motorway and having a coffee whilst charging. Coffees can be a bit expensive though.
Have you noticed that car manufacturers are producing expensive models first?…why? If you want the mass market, then you need to start at the bottom.
Plus, I would like a car comparable to my Vauxhall Omega Elite which has electric (excuse the pun!) everything including rear heated seats…..which electric car is going to have all the toys that I want?
EV’s tend to have more “Toys” than ICE vehicles in my experience.
Okay, which one has rear heated seats?
For those people who depend upon a car, whether lower income, elderly, or if you don’t have good/local transport, etc, we are being forced to buy brand new electric cars. There aren’t enough second electric cars on the market.
Basically I could not afford one. I will be forced to give up driving.
Why is the battery on these EV not replaceable like the battery on a remote control for TV? This would make re-charging slightly easy providing you could trade off your flat battery for a charged one. Also, there is the issue of having a standard size for a wide number of cars. Regarding the financial aspect, Norway (which has a high percentage of EVs) does not charge VAT when you purchase a new EV. Considering the price of a Tesla Model 3 is around 50K, this works out at 10K which certainly makes things a little bit more appealing.
Before buying an EV I’d have a serious look at the trading in prices. a quick check will see some EV’s loosing 40% in the first year. good news for us second hand buyers.
Also the thieves have realised it’s really easy to steal your charging cable a good pair of bolt croppers and it’s gone and at £200 is it covered on your insurance. Also I believe they are attacking the chargers if they are on the outside of your house. If you think it won’t happen to you. My catalytic converter was stolen the other week.
I am not an anti EV guy. I look forward to own one but only when they are affordable, easy and fast to charge and can cover a reasonable mileage. Until then I’ll leave them to those who can afford to pay for a vehicle that is vastly overpriced seeing that the price for a KWh of battery is soon likely to cost only $100. So a vehicle with a 50Kwh battery the cost will be $5000 where does the other $20,000 come from.
Quoted driving range assumes a fairly slow speed. Once you accelerate to a legal 70 mph, turn on lights at night and use wipers, your available distance vanishes very quickly. I travel to europe and typically drive 4,000 – 5,000 miles in a month. How can a sewing machine cope with that!
Considering the number of parts that go into making a combustion engine and a petrol one in particular, the thousands of revolutions of the engine per minute burning fuel and the capability of this engine to repeat the process for thousands of miles and years of operation, then the electric cars with no moving parts from its power source, should be far cheaper than the manufacturers are trying to sell them to us.
That so many manufacturers have electric models show there is no need to reinvent the wheel, so the costs should be affordable.
The best way forward is for car designers to have cassette type battery packs, these should be a standard that will fit any car. The motorist then pulls up at a charging point, the mechanics at the charging point slide out your de-energised battery, replace them with fully charged batteries and off you go. your de-energised batteries get charged ready for the next customers.
You forget that someone has to pay for the manufacturers investment in R&D and completely new production lines before they even start selling them, that someone is the customer and it will continue to be this way until all that investment has been recouped.
Cassette type batteries, sound good but the mechanic has to be paid, and what how many different types of battery packs are there going to be for different size and makes of car. Even if it were limited to say 10, highly unlikely, your battery swap station will therefore have to have large quantities of all these different types. Get real.
Don’t know what’s wrong with PHEV’s. Use the electric motor for town driving and when on A roads or Motorways, use the petrol or diesel engine. That would solve those issues of range, etc, etc.
Yet, current and potential future PHEV owners (I’m considering to buy one) are going to be penalised via higher Road Tax, Parking Permits, Congestion Charge and now London ULEZ won’t be free from October 2021, etc, etc!
The government not solving or supporting the motorist but screwing them as usual.
What’s wrong with them? How many owners will arrive home in pouring rai and bother to get wet plugging in to charge, rather than think it’s OK there’s plenty of petrol in the tank, no need to charge it let the petrol engine do it tomorrow.
They will go out later, when it has stopped raining and they are putting the bins out!
You must be joking, OK so for the first few weeks when it’s still a novelty but after that no chance and anyway bins out once a week if you’re lucky so little hope of that idea working.