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Electric cars fail to win over SMEs

The plug-in Renault Zoe EV

Less than half of small business owners (41%) believe electric vehicles represent the future of transport in the UK.

A survey conducted by Close Brothers Asset Finance revealed that almost a quarter of SMEs think EVs will never become commonplace, while 36% say it’s too early to tell.

In spite of the scepticism about the eventual part EVs will play in some quarters, nearly three out of every five respondents (57%) recognised the environmental benefits.

“The recent report by the Transport Research Laboratory stated that only one in four people would consider buying a fully electric car in the next five years,” said Neil Davies, CEO of Close Brothers Asset Finance. “Our research shows that while only 30% of those polled had ever driven an electric car, the majority (59%) would consider purchasing an EV if more incentives were available; this figure rises to 73% for London business owners, where the Ultra Low Emissions Zones were recently implemented.”

Range anxiety is often cited as the primary reason for lack of EV uptake, but in this survey respondents were more concerned about the lack of public charging points and the cost of vehicles.

“As the technology improves, issues with range will become less of factor,” said Neil. “And while it makes the top three reasons hindering the update of EVs, the lack of public charging points and 'cost of vehicles' were first and second; interestingly, nearly 60% of respondents said they would consider purchasing an EV if there were more incentives available.”

From 2020, a range of manufacturers plan to introduce smaller and cheaper electric cars, including the Seat Mii, Vauxhall Corsa, Honda e and Peugeot e-208.

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