Drivers in the South East who need to watch the pennies are being encouraged to consider holding off purchasing electric vehicles until 2023, according to a new expert report.1
The in-depth study by Confused dot com comes as the latest SMMT figures reveal electric vehicles have made up just 2% of new registrations in 2018 to date.2 Even though new research shows more than a quarter (27%) drivers in the South East would consider buying one as their next car.
Despite a green revolution taking the world by storm, it’s no wonder most drivers are still showing fossil fuel favouritism, and the report suggests there are several reasons for it. More than half (54%) of drivers in the region said they were put off by the eye-watering price tags of electric vehicles – Tesla’s Model S hatchback can cost up to £127,000 while one of the least expensive models, the Renault Zoe is still a significant £20,670 (see report). And insurance data from Confused.com reveals they can be a whopping £370 more expensive to insure than your average petrol or diesel car3. Furthermore, only one in three (36%) electric or hybrid vehicles in the UK have qualified to make savings with the Government’s plug-in car grant this year (2018) so far4.
But it’s not just the initial outlay which is holding drivers back. More than three quarters (76%) of drivers in the South East have little faith due to the perceived lack of available charging points – even though there are 16,130 connectors in 5,602 locations across the UK7. This comes after recent reports suggest the UK Government’s EV infrastructure plan has been set back4.
A lack of charge points is just one of the reasons why the report highlights that those drivers should consider waiting up to five years (2023) before they consider splurging out on an EV.1 If installation of charge points continues there will be 66% more charge points across the UK and a whopping 27,004 places to power up – making it a more viable option for wary road user7.
Furthermore, electric cars should become far more affordable by this date as manufacturers develop new models and reduce the cost of batteries – one of the core reasons EVs are so expensive at the moment. So drivers hoping to get the best banger for their buck should consider sitting tight for a mass market solution.
However, the report has found for the lucky few who can afford to invest early in an electric vehicle can make significant savings. For example, electric cars can save an average of £1,800 on fuel and road tax in three years8, as well as savings on parking, which is free for EVs in many car parks. This is despite some rather hefty electricity usage. A full charge of a Nissan Leaf (24kwh) uses the equivalent power needed to make 222 cups of tea, 501 rounds of toast, iron 343 shirts and watch 66 hours of TV6.
And as more and more people start to opt for electric vehicles there will be a greater need for power, especially at peak times. This has led some skeptics to question whether our national grid can handle the increased demand – one of many myths that the report debunks.
Most drivers have accepted the fact that the electric revolution is coming, however, they predict that it won’t be until 2037 that we start to see the number of EVs overtaking petrol and diesel vehicles9. And one in eight (13%) UK drivers are in denial that it will ever happen. In fact, one in three (32%) disagree with the government’s plans to ban all new pure petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040. And almost half (48%) agree it will take a long time for all drivers to transition to electric cars if the ban is only imposed on the sale of new vehicles.
As with any new technology which has the scope to have such a significant impact on our transport network and the motoring industry, it’s right to proceed with caution, especially when it comes to cost. But five short years this greener way for the every man and woman to get around should be a lot more accessible and affordable.