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Over half of UK motorists are considering an electric car or hybrid

New research finds that 53% of new car buyers in the UK are considering a hybrid or electric car as their next vehicle

With diesel cars continuing to make headlines for the wrong reasons, over half of UK motorists are considering switching to electric and hybrid cars, new research has revealed.

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has found 53 per cent of drivers planning to buy or lease a car in the next two years are looking at electric or hybrid vehicles as their next car. The 56,000 electric and hybrid cars sold this year represent just under 3 per cent of all new car registrations in 2015.

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New electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) buyers are eligible for the £5,000 Plug-in Car Grant under the Government’s incentive scheme to promote uptake. However, motorists making the switch could face maintenance and repair delays in the future, as just two per cent of the 170,000 qualified vehicle technicians in the UK are trained to work on electric and hybrid vehicles.

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The IMI’s figures suggest that just 1,000 technicians are trained to level 3 in electric and hybrid car maintenance, while another 1,000 are currently registered on the three year course to attain the necessary qualifications. 

IMI CEO, Steve Nash said: “We have always expected demand for electric and hybrid vehicles to increase gradually over time as the cars become more sophisticated and the public become aware of their quality, the level of demand shown in this survey is astonishing and requires a response from Government.”

To increase the number of skilled technicians qualified to work on electric and hybrid cars the IMI believes the Government needs to introduce a licence-to-practice for technicians working on the vehicles.  

Nash said: “We need a licence-to-practice for technicians to reassure the public and to protect the employers who invest in the skills required to take care of the next generation of vehicles and their owners.” 

Would you consider a hybrid or electric car? Do you already own one? Let us know what you think in the comments section below...

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