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Two-thirds of motorists want an EV as fuel prices soar

EV charger - Bridgestone

Two-thirds of motorists want to buy an electric vehicle (EV), with the majority seeking lower fuel bills.

A survey, commissioned by Bridgestone, found that 67% of motorists intended to switch to an EV and, of that figure, 47% want to change to save on fuel bills, while 56% are sold by the environmental benefits of EVs.

There were 39,315 new battery electric vehicle registrations during March, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), compared to just 37,850 electric sales for the whole of 2019.

The survey did unearth some driver concerns about the EV switch, despite their appetite to make the change. Of the 2,000 respondents, 74% raised concerns at the initial cost of purchase, 66% also expressed worries about charging point infrastructure, while 29% had issues with insufficient range.

Bridgestone North Region vice president Andrea Manenti said that the survey results offered a valuable insight into the minds of the general public when it comes to electric vehicles.

He added: “The results of this survey confirm that we’re undergoing huge change in the automotive industry, and that change is happening now. We were also reminded of some common concerns still associated with EVs, which we need to tackle as an industry.

“These concerns were insightful and we are already on our own journey at Bridgestone to address them. We’re developing premium tyres that meet specific EV requirements and help deliver optimal performance.”

Bridgestone developing its tyre technology to ensure that EVs can travel further between charges, while prolonging battery life. The company has also committed to install up to 3,500 new charging points across Europe over the next five years, with new plans for the UK set to be announced shortly.

EV leasing company, DriveElectric, predicts that registrations of new EVs will rise by more than 74% in 2022.

The figure is based on DriveElectric’s own forecasts and represents an increase to more than 330,000, from around 190,000 in 2021, to represent around 16% of all sales this year.

The Government has opened consultation over a proposed EV mandate that would demand at least half of all new cars sold in the UK emitted zero exhaust emissions by 2028.

Under the Department for Transport’s (DfT) proposed scheme, car and van manufacturers’ EV sales will be converted into ‘certificates’, which could be traded between brands, with fines levied for OEMs that fail to achieve a specified number of certificates by the end of each year.

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