Britain’s drivers are showing signs of starting to embrace electric and hybrid vehicles.
Research conducted for the RAC Report on Motoring shows the number of drivers who say they will choose an electric car as their next vehicle has doubled with 6% of motorists – the equivalent of more than 2.5m drivers – saying they intend to buy a pure electric battery-powered car when their existing vehicle needs to be replaced, compared to 12 months earlier.
When looking at those planning to buy any form of zero or ultra-low emission vehicle next – including pure-electric, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, the percentage increases to 15% (up from 12%).
There is also an increased willingness to buy conventional hybrids, which use a combination of a traditional combustion engine and a battery charged by the engine, with up to 21% of drivers surveyed saying they would do this compared to 17% in 2018.
In London – where concerns about emissions are higher, incomes are on average higher and charging points more prevalent – far more motorists are likely to say they intend to buy an ultra-low emission car next, with 26% planning (up from 15%).
On average, drivers surveyed for the RAC Report on Motoring want the minimum range of an electric vehicle to be 368 miles before they would consider getting one when their current vehicle needs to be replaced – the most popular range was 300 miles which was stated by a fifth (21%).
However, on average, drivers do not see themselves driving a pure electric until 2030.
Currently, less than 1% of all the cars on the UK roads are pure electric as statistics show just 98,846 were registered from new since 2010, with 37,850 registered in 2019 alone.
“It is very encouraging there is an increased willingness among drivers to go full or part electric when they next change their vehicles,” said RAC head of policy Nicholas Lyes.
“But, while this is positive, it is also concerning that the average driver doesn’t see themselves owning a pure electric car until 2030 – a point borne out by the fact that less than 1% of cars on the road are currently of this type.”