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What stops UK motorists from buying an electric car?

NFDA 26/04/2017

“Price, charging infrastructure and battery range are the main concerns for motorists when considering to buy an electric car. It is vital that the Government takes this into consideration and continues to actively encourage, alongside the automotive industry, the uptake of electric vehicles”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the UK.

A YouGov survey carried out on behalf of the NFDA asked over 2,000 respondents what was the main barrier preventing them from buying an electric vehicle. The NFDA concentrated its research on the 1,419 who owned at least one car.

For 29% of those surveyed, the price of the vehicle represented the main barrier. Nearly one in four (24%) said that access to charging points - both at home (12%) and during journeys (12%) - was their main concern. Finally, 22% said that the battery range of vehicles was the primary reason preventing them from purchasing an electric car. Other issues included battery charge times, low number of garages able to repair electric vehicles and poor driving experience.
The evidence was used by the NFDA to respond to a Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Committee inquiry about the electric vehicle market and its development.

Robinson continued, “Sales of electric vehicles are growing, but their market share is still very low. Consumers need to feel confident enough to switch to greener cars and a well-coordinated cross industry approach must be put in place to support them.

“The Government’s commitment is reassuring, but further significant investment in infrastructure as well as an extension of the grant* are essential, as lack of charging points and cost still represent the two main barriers.

“It is positive to see that the NFDA’s submission has been published and our concerns are being taken into consideration, we will continue to work with the Government to support the introduction of low emission vehicles including electric.”

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*The Government grant for electric cars, vans and motorcycles is in place until March 2018 and will be reviewed in October 2017

About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.