New study says 81% of drivers think electric cars are too expensive

Tom Barnard

23.4.2021

One in three drivers (34%) say an electric car would suit their lifestyle right now, according to a new study of 15,549 drivers commissioned by the AA and Electrifying.com. A further third (32%) find going to the petrol station a chore (this rises to 40% among women) and more than half (62%) like the idea of waking up to a full battery. 


But work is still needed to educate and reassure drivers ahead of the ban and half of drivers (49%) feel less confident about driving an electric car than a petrol or diesel car. 

The research has also revealed that 56% are unwilling to give up their conventionally-powered cars and a similar percentage have fears around the reliability of the charging network, the National Grid and even the vehicles themselves. 

A massive 81% of people think electric cars are still too expensive, but a large majority (63%) have never heard of the plug-in grant which could help them make a purchase, while 50% have never heard of the Electric Vehicle Home Charge Scheme.


More than half of drivers are worried about motorway charging

These misunderstandings and many more are why the AA, Electrifying.com and Rachel Maclean MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, have joined forces to go on an Electric Vehicle Myth Busting Mission. 

 The top five worries about owning an Electric Vehicle were: 

• 81% say electric cars are too expensive 

• 77% believe an EV won’t go as far on a single charge as a petrol/diesel car on a full tank 

• 59% think charging an EV takes too long 

• 56% are concerned the charging infrastructure is unreliable 

• 51% worry about breaking down in an EV on a motorway 


Rachel Maclean MP

The top five things to give drivers more confidence in Electric Vehicles were: 

• 75% ease of access to a charging point at home 

• 73% knowing you could get plug in at any charging point whoever runs it 

• 72% a reliable fast charging network on the motorway network 

• 72% more charging stations at shopping centres, supermarkets, leisure centres 

• 69% if an EV cost the same as the equivalent petrol or diesel car 

These are all valid points, however, awareness of the Government’s financial support available to those considering the switch today is relatively low. A huge 69% had never heard of the lower benefit in kind taxes for company car drivers, 63% didn't know about the plug-in car grant and 50% had never heard of home charge point grant. 

Speaking exclusively to electrifying.com, Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “As host of COP26, we want more people to feel empowered to make the switch to an electric vehicle. The release of today’s survey highlights the bumps in the road towards more people choosing an EV, and we know many want support from Government and wider industry to do so.

“That is why we’re investing up to £2.8 billion to drive the switch, creating a world-leading electric vehicle charging network that’s reliable for all and accelerating us towards a zero-emission future.” 

Edmund King, AA president, said: “After more than a century of the combustion engine leading the charge it is not surprising that some drivers are only just catching up with all things electric. We are here to help petrol heads become electric heads. We are delighted to join with Electrifying.com and the government to bust some of these myths. 

“The AA is determined to give power and support to all EV drivers and potential EV drivers. The automotive future is exciting, and we will probably see more change in the next ten years than we have in the last fifty.”

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