Over half of drivers reveal they won’t buy an electric car – and cost is the main barrier

Electric Car Charging Point with electric car behind

A new survey from Go.Compare Car Insurance has found that cost is the main barrier stopping drivers from getting an electric vehicle.

In light of the government’s 2030 and 2035 EV targets, the comparison site asked motorists whether they were planning on buying an EV in the next five years. Over half of the respondents (57.9%) stated they weren’t thinking of making the switch to electric any time soon.

Out of those not looking to buy an EV, 55.8% placed cost as the top deterrent. Currently, the average price of an EV is around £50k, with the cheapest models averaging around £30k.

However, this is too expensive for the majority of drivers, according to the Go.Compare survey. An astounding 71.3% stated that they’d need EVs to cost under £25k in order to invest in one. This is far below the current prices, which raises questions over the accessibility of EVs ahead of the phase-out of internal combustion engine vehicles, as electric tech remains unaffordable for most.

A secondary barrier to buying an EV, placed as the top concern by a fifth (20.2%) of motorists, is real-world range. Currently, the average estimated range of EVs is around 212 miles. This comes down to an average of 148 miles for the cheaper models.

In order to get an electric car, 47.3% stated that they’d want a real-world range of over 261 miles. Although some EVs can accomplish this, these models aren’t available for the £25k price tag drivers are willing to pay.

Despite this, some of the government’s EV incentives, such as the exemption to Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), are coming to an end.

Hugo Griffiths, the consumer editor for Carwow, said there are other ways the government could encourage EV adoption: “One option ministers could consider is what VAT rates new EVs should be subject to. This path could reduce the price of an electric car by up to 20%, with smaller reductions for more expensive cars having the potential to effectively facilitate a means-tested incentive scheme.”

Ryan Fulthorpe, motoring expert at Go.Compare, said: “It’s alarming to see that the majority of people aren’t thinking about making the switch to electric. Unless prices come down, EVs will continue to be inaccessible for many, meaning the government will fail to meet its phase-out targets for vehicles with internal combustion engines.

“There needs to be a focus on reducing costs, as this is the main barrier for most. Plus, it’s important that manufacturers continue working on EV technology to get it up to the standard of current fuel-powered vehicles. This will facilitate the switch without compromising the level of performance people are used to.”

More information can be found on Go.Compare’s website.

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