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Half of electric car drivers have a petrol or diesel car as back-up

A survey shows that half of EV drivers also have a petrol or diesel car and most have no plan to get rid of it and they favour it on longer journeys

Tesla Model 3 and BMW 3 Series

Despite the rising popularity of EVs for business commuting, a new survey of 2,800 electric car drivers by major UK leasing company Zenith reveals that just over half also have a petrol or diesel car. In addition, only 18 per cent of those surveyed use their EVs for longer trips over 60 miles.

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According to Zenith, the survey evidence shows that families are still reluctant to commit fully to EVs, citing unreliable public charging facilities and range anxiety. As a result, the leasing firm suggests the ‘two-car family’ model could be one of the factors “holding back the EV transition”.

The figures are published in the second of Zenith’s annual EVXperience Reports, and show that 51 per cent of drivers of leased EVs still have an internal-combustion powered car they favour for longer journeys. Almost three-quarters of this group - 73 per cent - say they have no plan to get rid of their petrol or diesel back-up vehicle, and switch fully to electric power.

According to Zenith’s chief executive Tim Buchan, factors such as RIshi Sunak’s five-year delay to the ban on petrol/diesel sales, the government’s failure to meet targets on ultra-rapid motorway charger installations, and general misinformation about the EV driving experience mean it’s not surprising that what he calls “the latest intake of EV drivers” have a less confident approach than the early adopters.

“We know EVs are the future of mobility, so we hope more work is done on providing certainty, starting with the government confirming its commitment to net zero with measures that support drivers to make the transition, and additional investment in our charging infrastructure, so it has a chance to catch up with consumer needs,” he says.

While confidence in longer-distance driving may still be low for EVs, the Zenith survey does highlight a trend towards family-friendly EVs. Out of 26 electric models that featured in the survey, the Audi e-tron, Kia e-Niro and Cupra Born were all among the top five. The firm suggests this means drivers do want large, family-sized EVs, even if they’re not yet ready to give up reliance on their petrol or diesel options. Interestingly, while Tesla remains number one, Zenith reports a decline in numbers choosing the trend-setting brand - reflecting the broader range of models available, it says.

Click here for our guide to electric car charging in the UK...

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Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

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