‘Government and makers must do more to sell EVs and hybrids’

Editor Graham Hope looks at what needs to be done to encourage more people to buy EVs and hybrids

Opinion - hybrids and EVs

Ever considered buying an alternatively fuelled vehicle? If not, why not? As the picture above illustrates, there’s more choice than ever, with 83 different models now available to UK buyers, from superminis to SUVs to vans.

It’s an appropriate time to ask, as well, with diesel continuing to attract negative headlines – not always entirely fairly, in my opinion – and significant changes to the road tax banding system just a month away from being introduced on 1 April.

The new rules will have major implications for the annual tax bill for alternatively fuelled vehicles. While pure electric models will remain free, owners of hybrids and plug-in hybrids face charges for the first time.

New VED road tax: the 2017 UK car tax changes explained

Against that backdrop, you can understand why an already sceptical public might think twice about going down the eco route. A Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders survey found that only 13 per cent of those looking for a new car said that their next vehicle would be alternatively fuelled.

So it’s hard not to disagree with chief executive Mike Hawes when he highlights the need for “ongoing government support for this new market” by way of consistent incentives and a better charging infrastructure. To that I’d add that the manufacturers themselves must do a better job of explaining the cars and their potential benefits.

Best electric cars on sale

I have many friends who run cars, but in no way could be described as enthusiasts, and am regularly surprised how little they know about EVs and hybrids. That’s a real shame when you consider how brilliant some of the models are. 

If the makers can get their message across more successfully, I’m sure the sales will follow.

Do you own an alternatively fuelled vehicle? Let us know your thoughts below...

Recommended

'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'
Truck
Opinion

'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'

Mike Rutherford proposes some alternative options to help streamline British imports and exports
23 Jan 2021
'Gordon Murray is my British motor industry person of 2020'
Opinion

'Gordon Murray is my British motor industry person of 2020'

Mike Rutherford highlights his positive car industry stories of 2020
4 Jan 2021
'Citroen has changed the game and changed the lives of countless consumers'
Opinion

'Citroen has changed the game and changed the lives of countless consumers'

Mike Rutherford thinks the quirky new Citroen Ami is a true game-changing car
13 Dec 2020
'Power outages do nothing to inspire confidence in would-be EV buyers'
Opinion

'Power outages do nothing to inspire confidence in would-be EV buyers'

Mike Rutherford thinks the switch to an all-electric UK car market hasn't been thought through
29 Nov 2020

Most Popular

BMW 5 Series vs Audi A6 vs Volvo S90
BMW 5 Series vs Audi A6 vs Volvo S90 - main
Car group tests

BMW 5 Series vs Audi A6 vs Volvo S90

Can plug-in hybrid power create a clear winner out of the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 or Volvo S90
23 Jan 2021
Best small 4x4s to buy 2021
Dacia Duster ford
Best cars & vans

Best small 4x4s to buy 2021

Need 4x4 capability without big SUV fuel bills? Take a look our top 10 small 4x4s instead
6 Jan 2021
New Lotus ‘Type 131’ due in 2021 as Elise, Exige and Evora bow out
Lotus range
Lotus

New Lotus ‘Type 131’ due in 2021 as Elise, Exige and Evora bow out

A new look Lotus line-up is teased with heavy influence from Evija hypercar expected
24 Jan 2021