Potential EV buyers exercise caution

According to Venson Automotive Solutions research, the lack of charging points in the UK is the biggest deterrent for motorists considering buying an electric vehicle (EV), with limited battery range coming a close second (61%).

To support the launch of its guide to electric vehicles, Venson offers motorists several ways to tackle ‘range anxiety’.

Alison Bell, marketing director at Venson Automotive Solutions, said, ‘The UK is the largest market in Europe for zero emissions capable cars, accounting for almost a quarter (23.8%) of registrations in the EU, in 2016. However, limited battery range remains one of the biggest concerns associated with electric vehicles with many citing this as a reason why they are reluctant to buy.’

According to Go Ultra Low (GUL) figures, the average commute in the UK is less than 10 miles, which could be covered by most plug-in vehicles after a home or work charge. Even for longer journeys, GUL says, more than a third of UK motorists never travel more than 80 miles in a single trip, comfortably within the range of most pure electric vehicles. The Nissan Leaf offers a range of 155 miles and technology is improving all the time, with the Tesla Model S offering a published range of 265 miles.

When it comes to recharging electric vehicles, the battery technology is constantly being enhanced. Currently there are three different levels of charging points, offering different recharge times. The higher the kilowatts (kW), the faster the battery will charge. Most networks offer a mix of ‘rapid’ (43kW-50kW), ‘fast’ (7kW-22kW) and ‘standard’ (up to 3kW) charging options.

The standard service station is rapid and will charge a battery from flat to 80% in under 30 minutes. Fast points are installed in public locations and will recharge some batteries in two to four hours. The standard, home charging point generally takes around six hours to fully charge a battery. The only key is for owners to know which type of connector their vehicle needs.

Alison continued, ‘Charging an electric vehicle sounds complicated, but once drivers get to know their vehicle, it’s no more complicated than charging a smartphone. In addition, the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme offers grant funding of up to 75% of the cost of installing electric vehicle chargepoints at home, up to £500. Charging at home costs about £3 for a full charge or two pence per mile, offering clear savings for motorists, which could outweigh the worries for many. Understandably, this may not solve a driver’s ‘range anxiety’, so we’ve identified a couple things motorists can do to reduce the worry.’

These include finding the nearest charging point, adjusting driving styles to improve range, charging your vehicle at work when possible, and charging you vehicle at home.

Alison concluded, ‘Venson is committed to promoting greener fleets and helping businesses make the shift to electric and hybrid vehicles. We will continue working with the industry and supporting a range of initiatives to help more businesses reduce the cost of their fleet and focus on operating a cleaner, greener fleet.’