Survey Finds UK Citizens Unprepared for Switch to Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles (“EV”) represent the next frontier in green, zero-emission energy. Most developed governments plan on replacing conventional vehicles with electric vehicles over the next decade and billions of dollars have been invested into achieving this goal. However, despite the insane mainstream attention EVs have been getting for the past few years, we are still a long way from widespread EV adoption, according to a new survey.

The new Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (“SMMT”) survey by Savanta ComRes suggests that almost half of UK citizens do not feel ready to make the switch to electric vehicles by 2035. At the moment, consumers have a relatively wide array of EVs to choose from, and according to the survey, most drivers are attracted to electric vehicles due to the lower running costs (41%) as well as a chance to reduce their carbon footprint and improve the environment (29%). In spite of this, EVs, which make up 17% of the models on sale, account for only 8% of vehicle purchases.

The survey found that the biggest factors holding back buyers were the higher prices (52%), lack of local charging ports (52%), and fear of running out of charge on long journeys (38%). 37% of the respondents were optimistic about buying a full EV by 2025, 44% didn’t think they’d be ready while 24% said they can’t ever see themselves owning a full EV. According to SMMT, there is a pressing need for a long-term commitment to incentives, including the continuation of the plug-in grant and its re-introduction for plug-in hybrids.

Coupled with VAT exemptions for all zero-emission capable cars, this would reduce the upfront cost of a family car by around £5,500 ($7,054) for battery EVs, £4,750 ($6,092) for plug-in hybrids, and £9,750 ($12,506) for SUVs. This would offset some of the high production costs associated with making EVs and pass on those saving to the customers. “Manufacturers are working hard to make zero and ultra-low emissions the norm and are committed to working with the government to accelerate the shift to net zero, but obstacles remain,” says SMMT Chief Executive Mark Hawes.

“Until these vehicles are as affordable to buy and as easy to own and operate as conventional cars, we risk the UK being in the slow lane, undermining industry investment, and holding back progress.”

Industry watchers believe that American electric vehicle manufacturers like Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS) are lobbying the federal government to invest more in making EVs affordable to the public.

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