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A survey by tyre company Bridgestone found that 67 percent of motorists intend to switch to an electric vehicle in the near future. The main reason for wanting to switch was the ever-increasing cost of petrol and diesel at the pumps.

Of that figure, 47 percent want to change to an EV to save on fuel bills, while 56 percent are sold by the environmental benefits of EVs.

The cost of living crisis was also reflected in the research, with 29 percent of motorists open to car sharing in the future to reduce outgoings and save money.

Andrea Manenti, Bridgestone North Region Vice President, said the survey results offered a valuable insight into the minds of the general public when it comes to electric vehicles.

He added: “The results of this survey confirm that we’re undergoing huge change in the automotive industry, and that change is happening now. 

“We were also reminded of some common concerns still associated with EVs, which we need to tackle as an industry.

“These concerns were insightful and we are already on our own journey at Bridgestone to address them. 

“We’re developing premium tyres that meet specific EV requirements and help deliver optimal performance.”

There are, however, still some concerns about electric vehicles, with 74 percent saying the initial cost of the car was putting them off.

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A further 66 percent were worried about charging point infrastructure and 29 percent had issues with insufficient range.

In an attempt to deal with this, Bridgestone has developed tyre technology to ensure that EVs can travel further between chargers, while prolonging battery life.

The company has also committed to install up to 3,500 new charging points across Europe over the next five years, with big plans for the UK set to be announced shortly. 

This comes as new data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) found that sales of new battery electric vehicles were almost 41 percent higher in April 2021 than in 2020.

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Electric cars accounted for more than one in 10 new cars, with a 41 percent year-on-year increase in sales.

Diesel saw the largest drop in sales, with the market share of the vehicle type remaining at just over 10 percent.

A total of 12,645 diesel cars were registered last month, compared to 23,347 in April 2021 – a decline of 46 percent.

Petrol sales continue to be the most popular fuel type, with more than 73,000 petrol vehicles registered in April, accounting for more than three in five new cars sold.

Jamie Hamilton, automotive director and head of electric vehicles at Deloitte, said despite the “ongoing challenges” facing the industry, EV sales were “above expectations”.

He added: “Combined BEV and PHEV sales have accounted for a fifth – 21 percent – of all new car purchases in the year so far, compared with 14 percent in the same period last year.

“Some of this growth is directly attributed to a shift in consumer behaviour, with many dealers reporting greater BEV enquiries as the cost of fuel has skyrocketed.

“With prices unlikely to fall any time soon, we could see faster-than-expected take up of electric vehicles this year.

“April also saw the announcement of a consultation outlining the design of a zero-emission vehicle mandate, which would require manufacturers to sell a certain proportion of BEVs every year in the run up to 2030.

“This is another major step forwards on the path to an all-electric future and should speed up EV targets.

“As we get increasing clarity on emissions targets for OEMs, we could see them prioritise the sale of BEVs over other vehicle types.”

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