AN electric vehicle attitude survey carried out by Aston University for EV salary sacrifice and fleet management specialist, Fleet Evolution, has revealed a high degree of misconceptions and driver ignorance around electric cars.
The attitude survey, which went out to around 10,000 drivers, fleet and HR managers, small businesses and private motorists, produced some results which indicated the lack of knowledge and entrenched attitudes that still exist towards EVs.
The study, carried out by university researchers, was designed to gauge views on electric cars and charging infrastructure, vehicle operating costs and the desire to switch to EVs.
It uncovered some quite entrenched attitudes to making the transition to EVs. For example, when asked about the Government’s ban on the sale of new ICE cars by 2030, some 26.67% of respondents said they would continue to buy used petrol or diesel models for as long as possible after the ban came into force.
When asked if they had a car or were planning their next car how was it or how would it be fuelled, some 40% said diesel, 13.33% said petrol, while 30% said electric and 13% hybrid.
And when asked what impact the introduction of a local Clean Air Zone would have on their commuting habits, some 32% said it would have no impact as they would choose to pay the charge on their existing vehicle, while a further 21% said they would switch to public transport rather than an EV.
When it came to operating costs, the survey asked about the typical cost incurred to travel 1,000 electric miles. The average estimate across all respondents was around £50, whereas in reality the cost is nearer £20, according to Fleet Evolution figures.
Turning to attitudes to switching to an electric car and the factors that made people hesitate in making the transition, some 36% of respondents said cost, 28% said range anxiety and 25% said lack of public charging.
Charging infrastructure was an area where lack of detailed knowledge was clearly apparent amongst most respondents.
Some 67% of those surveyed said they did not live within five minutes of a public charge point. But when further confidential checks were carried out on their postcodes, it was found that some 40% of those who said they did not have a chargepoint nearby actually had one or more within a five-minute walk of their home.
Fleet Evolution Managing Director, Andrew Leech, said: “There are still a number of misconceptions around EVs, particularly the costs involved, and we found it quite staggering that over a quarter of people surveyed said they would never switch to an EV come what may.
“This is rather at odds with the Government’s decision to embrace an all-electric future as laid out in its Road to Zero strategy as it strives to achieve net zero by 2050. It was disappointing that cost was still seen as the major barrier to more widespread EV adoption given the wider availability of more affordable electric models.
“There also seemed to be a genuine lack of awareness that an EV acquired under a corporate salary sacrifice scheme is extremely cost and tax efficient given the current tax regime which is highly beneficial for electric cars. Not only are EV salary sacrifice schemes extremely advantageous for the driver, they bring multiple benefits to the employer, including national insurance savings, reduced grey fleet risk and a marked reduction in carbon footprint.
“The lack of awareness over charging availability was something we have seen before but overlooks, not only the rapidly growing public charging network, but the benefits of having chargers installed at the workplace.”