Half of British drivers are not considering switching to an electric vehicle – why?

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The research carried out by insurance company NFU Mutual suggested that British motorists are afraid to make the switch due to concerns about range and charging. The study consisted of over 1,000 British drivers and revealed that 45 percent of them are not thinking about leaving their petrol or diesel cars behind in the next ten years.

Some 58 percent of those studied admitted that the battery range was the main reason for them not being convinced by EVs.

The same number of drivers claimed that the lack of charging infrastructure in the UK makes them afraid of switching.

There were, however, a number of regional disparities.

Only 47 percent of drivers in London had worries about the lack of chargers.

That figure rose to 70 percent for motorists living in East England.

Some 68 percent of drivers in Wales and 65 percent of motorists in Northern Ireland said that the lack of charging points would put them off.

Similar conclusions were made about range.

Only 48 percent of those driving in London worried about the driving range of an EV.

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That figure once again rose outside of the capital.

Some 72 percent of motorists in the East of England, 70 percent in Wales, 69 percent in the South West, and 68 percent in Northern Ireland saw range as a big problem.

In more positive news for EV advocates, 29 percent of the drivers surveyed said that they will consider switching to an electric car in the next five years.

On top of that, 16 percent said they would consider making the move in the next 10 years.

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Some seven percent of drivers added that they would consider switching to a hybrid vehicle instead.

Andrew Chalk, car insurance specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “There are reasons to be cheerful in this research, with 52 percent of Brits prepared to consider switching to an electric or hybrid vehicle within 10 years.

“And although a significant proportion of the population would not currently consider switching to an electric vehicle, we believe that this number will surely fall if public charging infrastructure continues to grow at the current rate – particularly in less densely populated areas.

“As the country’s leading rural insurer, we know that the disparity in charging infrastructure revealed in the Department for Transport (DfT) figures is clearly felt by those in less-provisioned or rural areas – and this is backed up by our research.

“Here again, though, our research suggests reasons to be positive, with rural dwellers three-times more likely than urban dwellers to currently own an EV.

“Ultimately, we need to understand the worries consumers have about switching to EVs or alternatively fuelled vehicles.

“Transport accounts for 27 percent of UK greenhouse gas emissions, so as a country we need to ease those fears if we are to reach net-zero by 2050.”

Despite some reservations towards electric vehicles, Brits bought more EVs in March 2022 alone than in all of 2019.

British drivers registered nearly 40,000 new electric vehicles in March.

This in turn made March’s figures the highest on record for a single month.

The data also marked a 79 percent increase from March 2021 and found that battery-powered cars now account for one in six registrations.

Across all of 2019, Britons bought 37,850 electric vehicles.

In March 2022 alone there were 39,315 sales.

It is now estimated by some analysts that battery EVs will become the most popular fuel type as soon as 2025.

Hybrid electric vehicles also grew by nearly 30 percent to some 28,000 cars, although plug-in hybrid registrations declined by around eight percent.

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