Petrol and diesel drivers ‘put off’ by upfront cost of EVs despite ‘progress’
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Motorists in the UK and around the world are starting to embrace electric vehicles on a mass scale, with most countries looking to slash emissions in the next few decades. The UK will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030, prompting many people to look into switching to an electric car earlier than the deadline.
New research has shown that British motorists could save almost £34.2billion a year by switching to an electric car and ditching internal combustion engines.
A study of 2,350 drivers revealed that 11 percent already owned an electric car, while the remaining 89 percent drove a petrol or diesel vehicle.
The most common reason for not switching to an EV was the upfront cost was deemed to be too high, with most new EVs costing more than £30,000.
The second most common reason, with 42 percent of the vote, was that there was no need to replace their current vehicle, with technology allowing vehicles to stay on the road longer.
Other potential issues included a lack of charging facilities in their area, EV range anxiety and the drivers preferring petrol and diesel vehicles.
However, it was found that petrol and diesel drivers spend almost £1,000 more on maintenance fees per year than EV drivers.
This includes repairs, MOTs and services, fuel or electricity, insurance and car tax – which EVs remain exempt from until 2025.
Owners of petrol and diesel vehicles spent around £3,104 on their yearly expenses, while EV maintenance was an average of £2,151.
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James Jackson, CEO of bumper.co.uk, commented on the results of the research, saying that it told a “clear story”.
He added: “That is, that many would like to transition to an EV and are aware of the long-term benefits, but are currently put off by the significant upfront cost.
“At the moment, it’s a lot easier to purchase an affordable, second-hand petrol or diesel car than it is to find an EV at a similar cost.
“Additionally, while it’s clear that we’ve made great progress when it comes to increasing the capacity for electric vehicle charging and improving EV range, there may be a lack of awareness among everyday motorists about these improvements.”
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Data from the Department for Transport shows there are an estimated 40.3 million licensed vehicles in the UK.
By taking into account the vehicle ownership rates identified by bumper.co.uk, 89 percent of petrol and diesel vehicles could be saving almost £34.2billion by transitioning to EVs.
When asked if they were aware of the long-term savings of owning an electric car, over three-quarters (78 percent) of petrol and diesel motorists said they were.
A further two-thirds said they would like to switch to an EV within the next five years.
Mr Jackson continued, saying: “The data clearly indicates that drivers could be set to save a significant amount of money by transitioning to an EV, particularly when looking at the price difference between fuel and electricity charging.
“However, I feel that there is more the Department for Transport and other industry leaders can do to educate and support petrol and diesel drivers, so that they feel more confident about making the switch to a more sustainable vehicle.”
At present, there are understood to be no plans to reintroduce any Plug-in Car Grants to help motorists with the transition to electric, although grants are available for vans and trucks.
Electric vehicle campaign groups, like FairCharge and ChargeUK, have been working to educate drivers around the UK about the benefits of using an EV.
They are also calling on the Government to help them with the roll out of more EV charging stations to address the range anxiety that some drivers still have.
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