THE GOVERNMENT WANTS ALL CARS TO GO GREEN BY 2020 – BUT 18 MILLION DRIVERS SAY THEY CAN’T AFFORD IT

  • Two thirds (67%) of motorists do not want an electric or hybrid vehicle as their next car and only 6% say they would like an electric model 
  • Upfront cost and lack of digital infrastructure around the UK are main reasons drivers prefer traditional fuel cars
  • Older generations “more keen to go green”; over a third (38%) of over 55s want their next vehicle to be hybrid or electric car

12 September 2017 – The majority (67%) of UK drivers do not want to buy electric and hybrid vehicles, despite the government’s pledge to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2040. Research by comparethemarket.com finds that two thirds of UK motorists would opt for a petrol or diesel car over an environmental alternative, and only 6% of drivers would choose a purely electric model for their next car.

The cost of electric and hybrid vehicles is a major deterrent to nearly half of UK drivers, with 49% saying they could not afford to go green – equating to around 18 million* motorists nationwide. Of these, many (41%) said they simply don’t have the money to buy an electric car and nearly one in ten (8%) are worried that the insurance costs are too high. Their concerns are not unfounded as recent comparethemarket.com analysis found that drivers choosing electric cars are paying 45% more to insure their vehicle than the average motorist – the average premium for an electric vehicle stands at £1,070 for an electric vehicle, against £740 for the average car.

Drivers are also nervous that the UK does not have the necessary infrastructure to support the growth of electric vehicles, as nearly two thirds (65%) revealed that they did not want an electric car because they were concerned about where to charge it. There are currently 4,811* charging stations around the UK but the number of electric cars on the roads predicted to rise, with global sales of battery powered vehicles jumping by 60% last year***. Questions therefore remain as to whether this digital network can expand as fast as required.

The most popular electric cars, identified by comparethemarket.com are:

The research also suggests that older generations have more positive attitudes to green vehicles than younger drivers. Over a third (38%) of over 55-year olds would like their next car to be an electric or hybrid model, compared to under a quarter (24%) of 18-24-year olds. Drivers of all ages may also be put off by the upfront cost of buying an electric car; the average cost of a Nissan Leaf can be around £21,000 but 18-24-year-old motorists say they can only afford to spend £6,500 on their next car, and over 55-year olds plan to spend over £10,000. 

Electric Dreams
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John Miles

Head of Motor

comparethemarket.com

“Despite the government’s plan for all cars to go green by 2020, motorists still have significant and legitimate concerns about electric cars. Our research suggests that only 6% of drivers would choose an electric model for their next vehicle and are far more comfortable with traditional fuel models. Nobody wants to run out of power half way through a journey and find themselves miles from a charging point. Whilst the number of charging points across the UK is growing day by day, there are still fears that the UK does not have the sufficient infrastructure to cope with this rapidly growing market.

“For electric cars to really take off, steps must be taken to improve and expand the infrastructure on which they rely and reduce the upfront cost. Whilst the ongoing running cost of an electric car might be lower due to savings on fuel, we are not yet at the point of critical mass where manufacture, repair, insurance and distribution costs fall significantly. This means that joining green revolution remains merely an "electric dream" for the majority of British motorists."