Over half of UK drivers won’t buy an electric car ‘unless prices come down’

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Almost six in 10 (57.9 percent) said they were not thinking about switching to an electric vehicle, despite the planned ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles by the end of the decade.

Of those, 55.8 percent stated that the upfront cost of a new electric vehicle was holding them back from investing.

Currently, the average price of a new, cheaper electric vehicle is around £30,000, although experts predict EVs could soon reach price parity with petrol and diesel in the coming years.

However, many drivers still see this as too expensive, especially with the cost of living crisis disrupting finances for millions of people around the UK.

Almost three-quarters of drivers said they would only consider buying an electric vehicle if prices fell below £25,000.

The data, from Go.compare, highlights how the affordability of electric vehicles could be affecting the public perception of them and lead to people avoiding them.

From 2030, the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned, ushering in a new age of electric vehicles dominating the car market and the overall fleet of the UK.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Ryan Fulthorpe, motoring expert at Go.Compare, said: “It’s alarming to see that the majority of people aren’t thinking about making the switch to electric. 

“Unless prices come down, EVs will continue to be inaccessible for many, meaning the Government will fail to meet its phase-out targets for vehicles with internal combustion engines.

“There needs to be a focus on reducing costs, as this is the main barrier for most.”

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He added that manufacturers also play a vital role in ensuring the public that EVs are reliable and can compete with even the highest-end petrol and diesel vehicles.

This will allow drivers to have the confidence to switch, without compromising on the performance they have been used to with an internal combustion engine vehicle.

Another key barrier for many motorists hesitant to switch is the real-world range, often referred to as range anxiety.

The current average estimated range for an electric vehicle is around 212 miles, which comes down to an average of 148 miles for cheaper models.

A fifth of drivers note this as their biggest barrier for entry, with 47.3 percent of people saying they would prefer a range of over 261 miles – equivalent to that of a BMW iX1 xDrive30 xLine or a Mercedes-Benz EQC. 

Hugo Griffiths, consumer editor for Carwow, said there are other ways the Government could encourage EV adoption on a wide scale.

He suggested: “One option ministers could consider is what VAT rates new EVs should be subject to. 

“This path could reduce the price of an electric car by up to 20 percent, with smaller reductions for more expensive cars having the potential to effectively facilitate a means-tested incentive scheme.”

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