One year on from the unveiling of the government’s Road to Zero plan and a new survey by Venson Automotive Solutions reveals that whilst company car drivers are widely switched on to the benefits and implications of electric vehicle ownership, the UK’s charging infrastructure still sparks concern for 69 percent of motorists. Contributor Alison Bell, Marketing Director – Venson Automotive Solutions.
The findings come as Nissan reports there are now more EV charging stations (9199) in the UK than conventional fuel stations (8396) and the Department for Transport reports that at present, the UK has a network of more than 24,000 public charging connectors in nearly 9,000 locations.
In addition to highlighting a wide misconception that there is a lack of EV charging points across the UK, the Venson survey also reports preconceptions regarding limited battery range which came a close second; 57 percent of those surveyed reported this was still a barrier when considering an EV. However, according to Go Ultra Low, the range of 100 percent electric cars is rapidly improving. Huge advances in battery technology and falling costs mean this will continue to grow. Today, virtually all Go Ultra Low pure electric cars can drive over 100 miles with ease on a single charge; some of the latest models are closer to 200 miles or more.
Alison Bell, Marketing Director at Venson Automotive Solutions comments; “With charging and battery range concerns abated, EV fleets should now be far more appealing to businesses. The revised BiK charges which sees zero-emission electric vehicle tax liability for company car drivers fall from 2 percent to 0 percent for the tax year 2020-21, will also appeal to company car drivers which should boost demand for EVs in the next 12 months.”
Further good news is that 86 percent of motorists surveyed said that a ‘lack of clarity in terms of ownership implications as a company car driver’ is a thing of the past, and more than two thirds of drivers said that they had a good understanding of the costs and convenience of owning an EV.
Dealerships are also making it easier for fleet managers to promote a charge towards electric – only 13 percent of motorists cited lack of ‘try before you buy’ options as an obstacle to purchase and only 5 percent of people surveyed said they are worried about manufacturer lead times in acquiring an EV. All food for thought for fleet managers.
Alison Bell concludes: “Whilst our survey findings confirm a greater willingness by company car drivers to adapt to an EV world, there are still some ownership concerns. 41 percent of people we surveyed expressed concern over the practicalities of being able to charge their vehicle at home. And 30 percent said they had concerns over service, maintenance and repair costs.”
Fleet managers looking to dispel user-chooser EV fears can download the Venson Automotive Solutions ‘Plug-In Vehicle Guide’ for free. Aimed at drivers to widen their knowledge of the cost and convenience of EVs, the Guide answers the key questions that are creating barriers to drivers considering a plug-in car.