New research by professional services firm KPMG has found that the public’s reluctance towards electric vehicles is mainly an issue for the over 55s.
The survey found that when considering the purchase of an electric car, range anxiety (which is the distance the car can travel on one charge) was the top concern for 75% of people over the age of 55.
However, less than half (40%) of those surveyed between the ages of 18-34 shared the same worry.
Justin Benson, Director and Head of Automotive at KPMG UK, said: “I don’t think there will be range anxiety in the future, especially given that 85% of all journeys made in Britain are less than 15 miles. There’s clearly a massive generational shift taking place. Millennials and Generation Z are moving towards electric vehicles and the over 55s appear to be reluctant to do the same quite so quickly.
“Young people are typically more open to trying new things and there’s an element of expecting to have almost anything within a very short time span, if not instantly at the touch of a button. This explains why those aged 18-34 were more concerned with the time it takes to charge, than how far one charge would take them.”
Whilst nationally, 3 in 5 care more about their vehicle emissions now, than they did five years ago, regionally, Londoners were the most environmentally conscious at 72%. Half of the people in the East of England, however, felt less concerned about their car’s carbon footprint, with just 50% caring more.
Interestingly, when looking at the most important considerations when buying a new vehicle, emissions and environmental impact only ranked fifth. Running costs were cited as the top priority, followed by purchase price, fuel/energy consumption and driving experience.
Charlie Simpson, Partner and Head of Mobility 2030, added: “Increasingly, cost per month is the overriding factor that determines whether or not someone signs on the dotted line for a new car. In the medium term, electric vehicles will be cheaper overall to run with a much lower carbon footprint, so they will be better for consumers’ pockets and the environment, but we are not quite there yet. Electric vehicles are now starting to take off in a meaningful way and what will matter is the overall customer experience, with short term barriers such as range anxiety falling away.”
Unsurprisingly, having the ability to charge at home was cited as the most important need by over half (53%) of consumers when considering whether to purchase an electric vehicle.
Justin Benson concluded: “Whilst the availability of charge points is on the rise, the concern around being able to charge at home is valid as it’s limited to those who have access to a driveway. That being said, there are now more public charge points than petrol stations across the UK and many consumers are also planning their journeys differently.
“So, if carmakers continue to increase the driving range and reduce the purchase price of electric vehicles, then I expect that we’ll see half a million electric vehicles sold and driving on UK roads within the next five years.”
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