Londoners plugged in to electric potential

A new poll has found that Londoners are ready for electric cars, with 80% saying they’d consider them if buying a car in the next six months.

The driving force behind this groundswell is a fear of air pollution, according to the research commissioned by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI). It found that 60 per cent of Londoners are concerned about the environment and the long-term impact of pollution.

And that overcame their scepticism surrounding electric cars, as most Londoners think they are more expensive to buy and to run than petrol or diesel cars, that they are slower and have a limited range. A lack of charging points and qualified technicians is also a concern.

The IMI points out that electric cars are just as high-performing as petrol cars, have much lower running costs (no road tax or congestion charges) and boast a range far in excess of the average London journey of 8.9 miles.

Steve Nash, CEO at IMI, said, ‘Very soon drivers will realise the true capabilities of electric vehicles with manufacturers continuing to advance the technology. As our research indicates demand will surge, and it’s clear the next London Mayor has an urgent task to ensure the charging infrastructure is capable of keeping pace as Londoners make the switch to greener fuel to get around the city.

‘The Government will also need to focus on the skills base required to keep these cars on the road. With only 1,000 technicians currently qualified in the UK, they have some way to go.’

In the last three years, registrations for plug-in cars in the UK has increased from 3,500 in 2013 to 48,000 by the end of 2015.