Half of drivers considering an electric car for their next vehicle

Poll of 17,628 motorists finds 47% want to make the switch to electric driving; lack of charging points, electric car prices and range anxiety put off many, though

A vast survey of almost 18,000 drivers has found almost half are considering an electric car when it is time to replace their current vehicle.

The survey, conducted by the AA and ITV’s Tonight current affairs programme, found 47 per cent of drivers will consider an electric vehicle for their next car, with women (49 per cent) slightly more likely to be mulling over an EV than men (46 per cent). 

Those living in London were most likely to say they would look at EVs (56 per cent), while 54 per cent of those in social groups A and B (defined as upper-middle and middle-middle class) were also more likely to consider one. People aged 18 to 24 were most likely to consider going electric (60 per cent), with 56 per cent of aged 35 to 44, and 48 per cent of those aged 55 to 64 saying the same.

The survey results will encourage those in government pushing for a ban on the sale of new cars with an internal combustion engine, which was originally slated for 2040, but now looks set to be coming in 2035, if not earlier. 

For those who said they would not consider an EV for their next car, a lack of public charging points was the biggest concern, with 69 per cent saying this would put them off electric motoring. This is echoed by a recent report that found the UK only has five per cent of the public EV chargers it will need by 2030, while our inaugural Driver Power chargepoint survey found some providers need to make significant improvements to their networks.

Electric cars being too expensive, meanwhile, was cited as being problematic by 67 per cent of those responding to the survey, while concerns relating to running out of power or not having charge to reach their destination (also known as range anxiety) was a worry for 63 per cent of respondents. UK drivers cover just over 7,000 miles a year on average, equivalent to around 20 miles a day, however, meaning many EVs would not need to be charged more than once a week or so - although issues remain relating to how those without off-street parking will top up their cars

Some 63 per cent of those responding to the poll, meanwhile, agreed that they were concerned the UK’s electricity network would not be able to cope if all drivers switched to electric cars. The National Grid has previously said, however, that smart charging (which would automatically manage EV charging during peak hours, for example) and infrastructure improvements should mean this is not the issue many were once concerned it would be.

Some 72 per cent of AA members, meanwhile, agreed that charging EVs takes too long.

Commenting on the survey, the AA’s president, Edmund King, said the UK is undergoing a “radical transition”, and he considers that there is a need to “help drivers overcome perceived myths about EVs and charging. It is incredibly encouraging that almost half of drivers will consider an EV for their next car.” 

Kind added: “Our AA breakdown data also shows that EVs are more reliable, but when breakdowns occur they are similar to breakdowns on conventional cars with tyres, wheels and the 12-volt battery accounting for about one third of problems.”

Check out our list of the best electric cars to buy now...

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