Some 49% of UK drivers would currently consider purchasing an electric vehicle (EV), according to research from Lex Autolease, while the remaining 51% remain unconvinced.
This is despite 61% of respondents being aware of the government’s target for all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2040.
Consumers however did acknowledge their concerns for the environment, with 86% of people stating that they had altered their behaviour in the last five years to help reduce their impact on the planet.
“The government’s pledge to eradicate the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 will mean reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, generating more renewable energy, and, crucially, ensuring the mass-market adoption of electric vehicles,” said Ashley Barnett, head of consultancy at Lex Autolease.
“The way we live our lives – and the way we travel around – will have to change radically, but a significant number of drivers remain reluctant to get on board. The government target could be in reach if we can educate, encourage and incentivise more people to consider going electric.”
The survey of 2,000 adults found the main barrier to EV adoption to be range anxiety. Over half (55%) of consumers said the possibility of running out of battery mid-journey is the main reason they are put off of EVs. Half of respondents also cited concerns around access to charging facilities.
Meanwhile 40% said that EVs are too expensive for what they are, while 38% are dubious about the time needed to charge the vehicle, compared with refuelling a petrol or diesel alternative.
Barnett continued: “Initiatives like our EV1000 fund – which provided £1,000 cashback on the first 1,000 pure electric vehicles ordered from us in 2019 – can help people overcome the slightly higher upfront costs of electric.
“But while the list price of electric vehicles is often higher than petrol or diesel equivalents, that gap is closing all the time – and the savings available throughout the lifetime of an electric vehicle mean it’s likely to cost less in total.”