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Post-pandemic car buyers have higher appetite for EVs

Almost half (49%) of UK motorists expect to buy an electric vehicle (EV) in the next decade, according to a new study by Lloyds Banking Group.

It found that a third (32%) of drivers believe that the sustainability of their transport was a higher priority than before the coronavirus pandemic – and almost the same figure (30%) plan to make their next vehicle a hybrid or pure electric.

Coupled with an increase in flexible working patterns, one in 10 (10%) drivers now plan to switch to a more sustainable method of commuting. This includes hybrid or electric cars, cycling and walking.

Richard Jones, managing director of Lex Autolease and Black Horse, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Drivers attitudes towards electric vehicle ownership are changing and the positive sustainability and running cost benefits are clearly cutting through. This trend is set to continue as society establishes new-norms after more than a year of upheaval.

“Working from home two or three days a week will also reduce the number of miles on the road, meaning that a traditionally fuelled petrol or diesel car might no longer be the most appropriate option for more and more drivers. Consumers can adopt more sustainable and environmentally friendly transport decisions that suit the changing nature of the workforce and new initiatives like salary sacrifice schemes help to make EVs more achievable for commuters and support overall progress towards a greener future.”

More than two-fifths (41%) of drivers that took part in the study said they would be happy to pay more for an EV than a petrol or diesel car, knowing they’ll save money in the long run, and the same number (41%) listed cheaper road tax and cheaper running costs as the top advantages of hybrids and EVs.

Price does remain a concern for some, however – with 57% of drivers saying they’d only consider making the switch if the prices of new EVs were to fall.

There’s also signs that ‘range anxiety’ – the fear that an EV will simply run out of charge mid-journey – appears to be abating. Two-thirds (64%) were not concerned by the availability of charge points across the UK, and only a third (35%) worried about running out of battery mid-journey.

Jones added: “Despite the positive outcomes of this research, fundamental challenges remain that require significant government support, the most important is the affordability of EVs for new and used car buyers.

“The used car EV market is yet to be established and buyers will struggle to bridge the gap on price without support, even after accounting for running cost savings. We want to work with the policy makers to ensure we can establish an attractive marketplace for used EVs as well as work to expand the UK’s charge point infrastructure and to continue grid decarbonisation. These three pillars are fundamental to driving EV adoption in support of 2030 ambitions.”

Two thirds of motorists have shown a ‘lack of confidence’ in the UK meeting the Government’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, however.

According to a study commissioned by Spark EV Technology, motorists believed 2052 would be a more ‘realistic’ and ‘achievable’ target based on current infrastructure and onboard range prediction technology.

The study of 1,000 targeted motorists also found that over half of UK motorists are concerned they don’t have charging facilities where they live, while 64% said having reliable information about how much battery charge is left would be ‘very important’ when considering buying a new electric vehicle (EV).

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