Cost concerns and range anxiety still proving road bumps to electric car take-up in the UK

Rebecca Smith
Electric car take-up needs to accelerate for the government to hit its zero emissions goal in 2050
Electric car take-up needs to accelerate for the government to hit its zero emissions goal in 2050 (Source: Getty)

Despite burgeoning interest, many UK drivers are put off by transitioning to an electric car, as cost concerns and range anxiety still prove a hindrance.

According to a new report from Close Brothers Motor Finance, a fifth of drivers said that while they liked the idea of an electric car, they would want to see significant improvements to the technology before they would contemplate buying one.

Read more: Electric car market charged past the two million mark in 2016

The report of 1,200 people said the main road bumps are the negative perceptions surrounding both range, and the worry of running out of power before the destination or a charging point is reached, and cost.

The electric car market is set to transition from early deployment to mass market adoption over the next decade or so, and the likes of Elon Musk's Tesla have helped to bolster public perception of electric vehicles, while car giants have been plugging investment into electric vehicles as interest in diesel cools.

And the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that diesel cars are on the decline, and take-up of alternatively fuelled vehicles was up nearly 47 per cent on May last year.

But at present, it is a slow burner. Electric cars still account for just four per cent of total new car sales, and that trails the likes of Norway, which leads the way when it comes to electric vehicle take-up. In 2016, EVs accounted for nearly 40 per cent of the nation's newly registered passenger cars.

James Broadhead, chief executive of Close Brothers Motor Finance, said:

It is clear that more needs to be done to educate consumers about the pros of electric cars, not only from an environmental but a personal finance perspective.

Despite the growth in electric cars sales, there are still major perception barriers to overcome. The government is taking steps in the right direction to increase the uptake of electric vehicles, but at this rate of change it is unlikely that their zero emissions goal will be reached by 2050.

Read more: A long-awaited electric car sharing scheme is rolling out across London

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