Electric cars and infrastructure in need of bigger boost, says SMMT

Though electric car sales are soaring in the UK, more must be done to make them cheaper and easier to charge, says industry body

Carmakers and the Government must do more to make electric and plug-in cars cheaper to buy and easier to charge says the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This comes after a new study found that the lack of charging infrastructure and high prices are putting off potential buyers.

According to research by YouGov, commissioned on behalf of the SMMT, 51 per cent of UK adults are keen to buy an electric car to save on their fuel bills, but just 13 per cent actually have one on their shopping list. 

Nearly half of the respondents said they were put off buying an electric car as they were worried about the lack of charging points near their home or at work, while another 41 per cent said they couldn't afford the higher purchase price. 

Auto Express previously highlighted how the UK’s public charging infrastructure is in need of a vital zap to help keep up with growing EV uptake.

Electric and plug-in car ownership has soared from 2,254 vehicles in 2012 to 85,983 at the end of 2016. However, the number of charging points in the UK has only increased from 2,883 in 1,287 locations to 11,736 in 4,243 locations during the same period.

Best electric cars on sale 2017

The ratio of EVs to chargers has grown from 0.78 to 7.32 in just four years, according to data obtained by charge point database Zap-Map. The European Parliament has said for EVs to become commercially viable, there has to be at least one charger for every 10 cars on the road.

The Government has announced a £600million boost to promote the uptake of electric and plug-in vehicles, but SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said that “more must be done to boost buyer confidence,” in the technologies.

Hawes added: “A consistent approach to incentives – fiscal and otherwise – and, most importantly, greater investment in the charging network is essential if we are to grow this emerging market.”

To showcase the breadth of choice currently available for low emissions car buyers, the SMMT has set up a special display against the backdrop of London Tower Bridge with 26 vehicles from 16 different brands. 

Would you buy an electric car as your next vehicle? Tell us in the comments below... 

Recommended

VED road tax: how much does it cost?
car tax calculator
Consumer news

VED road tax: how much does it cost?

Confused by VED road tax? Our comprehensive guide explains how much you'll pay on your next car
25 Sep 2020
Dartford Crossing toll: follow our guide and avoid a fine!
Dartford Crossing bridge
Consumer news

Dartford Crossing toll: follow our guide and avoid a fine!

Read our complete Dartford Crossing guide for when and how to pay the Dart Charge, along with guidance on appealing a fine
25 Sep 2020
Should you buy or lease your new car?
Tips & advice

Should you buy or lease your new car?

Should you buy or lease your new car? That is the big question facing millions of people who are eyeing up a new set of wheels, we talk you through th…
23 Sep 2020
Company car tax guide 2019/2020: everything you need to know
Consumer news

Company car tax guide 2019/2020: everything you need to know

Strict new emissions tests will affect how much company car tax we pay. Here we look at how the system has changed
23 Sep 2020

Most Popular

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp
BMW 3 Series M3 Coupe

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp

The new sixth-generation BMW M3 Competition saloon gets a 503bhp straight-six engine and four-wheel-drive
22 Sep 2020
New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range
Volkswagen ID.4

New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range

The new Tiguan-sized Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV becomes VW’s second ID. model, rivalling the Tesla Model Y
23 Sep 2020
New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range
Land Rover Range Rover Velar

New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range

Land Rover has given the Range Rover Velar an update, with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain and an improved infotainment system
23 Sep 2020