Drivers dissuaded from EVs by rising bills

New research has found that although 14% of drivers says their next car will be an electric vehicle, the proportion of those expecting to switch has shrunk in the last year.

An RAC survey of 3,000 drivers found that 28% of those surveyed planned to change their vehicles in the near future, down from 36% in 2019, but only 14% say they will switch to an EV.

It found that 41% would get a petrol car and 13% will invest in a diesel vehicle – a further 19% said they would opt for a hybrid with 10% opting for a plug-in hybrid.

The drop in drivers considering electric is attributed to a lack of charging points (60%), poor reliability of the public charging network (51%), and rising electricity prices (47%). Range anxiety was also cited as a concern for 46% of respondents.

RAC EV spokesman Simon Williams said: “It’s very worrying that there are currently so many factors hindering take-up. A combination of the effects of Covid, ongoing availability issues in the new car market due to a global microchip shortage and the squeeze on household finances brought about by the cost-of-living crisis mean people keen to get into an EV are likely to put off doing so.

“Rising interest rates will also inevitably have a detrimental effect on the number of people who choose to buy new cars on finance.”

He added: “We urgently call on the government to reintroduce the £1,500 plug-in car grant for EVs below £30,000 as this had been successful in encouraging manufacturers to bring out cheaper models. The government should also reduce the rate of VAT on public charge points to five per cent to ensure the third of people who can’t charge at home are not disadvantaged.”