UK Car Buyers Aren’t Sold On Electric Vehicles

A total of 79 percent of UK drivers would consider buying an electric vehicle (EV) or have already purchased one, but 70 percent would prefer to lease an EV for 2-3 years to try out the technology and decide if it is right for them, a new survey by Auto Trader showed.

According to the survey of 2,025 UK drivers, while nearly 80 percent would consider buying an EV, misconceptions and uncertainty about the technology still exist. Even among those who would think about buying an electric car, a good 40 percent admitted that they had reservations about the capabilities and technology of electric vehicles, Auto Trader’s survey found.

Half of UK drivers are apprehensive about the EV range and feel nervous about how far they could travel on a single charge.

Range anxiety is top of the list of worries for UK drivers, with 51 percent feeling nervous how far they can drive on one charge, followed closely by the lack of public charging points across the UK, with 49 percent of drivers expressing this worry.

Only 7 percent of drivers admitted they would miss the purr of a traditionally fuelled engine, Auto Trader’s survey showed.

The UK is currently considering whether to bring forward the deadline for phasing out the new sales of gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles to 2035 or even sooner from the current deadline 2040.

The biggest oil companies in the UK—Shell and BP—have recently expressed support to the idea of bringing the timeframe forward.

Shell believes that the UK government could bring forward its timeline to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel vehicles as early as in 2030, with the “the right policy and incentives,” Sinead Lynch, UK Country Chair at Shell, said in July.

BP, for its part, backs the phase-out, “even if it is a challenge to our legacy business,” chief executive Bernard Looney wrote on LinkedIn this week.

“As well as backing this phase-out, we believe it can - and should - be brought in sooner than 2040. Whether that is 2035, 2032 or 2030 – we are up for it,” Looney said.

By Charles Kennedy for