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EV adoption message struggles to extend beyond fleets, survey finds

Ionity will open the first of 50 planned 350kWh rapid charge stations in the UK next month

Electric vehicle (EV) adoption is still hampered by car buyers' range anxiety and charging concerns despite the Government’s recent pledge to remove BIK tax in 2020/21 resulting in a warmer approach from fleet operators.

According to research carried out by Venson Automotive Solutions the UK’s charging infrastructure still sparks concern for 69% of motorists.

The findings follow Nissan’s report that there are now more EV charging locations (9,199) in the UK than conventional fuel stations (8,396) in a network of more than 24,000 public charge points.

Nonetheless, Venson’s survey of 200 people via the Gorkana Survey platform found that accessing charge points was still a major barrier o EV ownership with the limitations of battery range coming a close second.

Of those surveyed, 57% said a limited zero-emissions range was still a barrier when considering an EV.

Go Ultra Low asserts, however, that virtually all pure electric cars can travel over 100 miles on a single charge with some of the latest models offering closer to 300 miles.

Alison Bell, marketing director at Venson Automotive Solutions, said: “With charging and battery range concerns abated, EV fleets should now be far more appealing to businesses.

“The revised BIK charges which sees zero-emission electric vehicle tax liability for company car drivers fall from 2% to 0% for the tax year 2020-21, will also appeal to company car drivers which should boost demand for EVs in the next 12 months.”

Venson said that its research had revealed how car dealership staff are promoting a charge towards electric, with only 13% of motorists citing lack of ‘try before you buy’ options as an obstacle to purchase and only 5% of people surveyed said they are worried about manufacturer lead times in acquiring an EV.

Earlier this year AM exclusively reported how lead times of over 12 months on the Hyundai Kona EV had led the manufacturer to introduce preferential short term lease offers of an Ioniq Hybrid to help buyers plug the gap.

According to Hyundai managing director, Ashley Andrew, the scheme was the brainchild of Endeavour Automotive managing director Adrian Wallington.

Retailers are clearly attempting to smooth the move towards EVs and the National Franchised Dealers Association’s (NFDA) Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) scheme has added a formal layer of qualification to help car retailers allay car buyers’ ownership concerns.

Venson’s Bell added: “Whilst our survey findings confirm a greater willingness by company car drivers to adapt to an EV world, there are still some ownership concerns. 41% of people we surveyed expressed concern over the practicalities of being able to charge their vehicle at home. And 30% said they had concerns over service, maintenance and repair costs.”

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