There has been a recent push towards electrification and the uptake of electric cars in the motoring industry over the past couple of years.
Governments are aiming to meet pollution limits while carmakers are fighting to make sure their cars comply with increasingly stricter standards for emissions.
This would seemingly pave the way tie for electric and alternatively fuelled cars to be pushed and increase the ownership of such cars, being mutually beneficial for the carmaker, government and driver who would benefit from reduced fuel and taxation costs.
However, the Government recently announced that it was slashing the incentives given to alternatively fuelled and electric car buyers in the UK, making them significantly more expensive to buy.
The plug-in hybrid grant was abolished while the pure electric car grant was slashed by £1,000 to £3,000.
New research has also revealed that around two-thirds of UK drivers (66 per cent) do not want to buy alternative fuel vehicles, and of the 2,000 surveyed just over a quarter (26 per cent) would opt for a hybrid, and only eight per cent would choose a purely electric model for their next car.
Reasons for the surprising lack of interest are linked to three issues – infrastructure, cost, and range.
The most off-putting thing for prospective buyers was the lack of any serious infrastructure with 53 per cent saying they were concerned about who to charge their vehicle.
Electric cars ‘impossible to own’ for millions of UK drivers
Car such as the Tesla Model S and Model X can cost in excess of £100,000
Similarly “range anxiety” and fears about not being able to travel long distances due to the limited range of certain cars put off 52 per cent.
The cost of electric cars and hybrid vehicles is also off-putting with 44 per cent saying they could not afford to go green – equating to around 16 million motorists nationwide.
These concerns are not unreasonable or unfounded as even ‘affordable’ electric cars are expensive.
For example, the new Nissan Leaf costs around £26,000, which is £19,000 more than the average driver would spend on a new car.
Nissan Leaf is one of the most popular electric cars but it is not particularly cheap
In fact, just four per cent of respondents said that they would spend over £25,000 on a new vehicle.
There is, however, clearly a lack in motorist’s knowledge about the benefits and subsidiaries available for electric cars across the country.
Nearly three quarters of UK drivers (72 per cent) did not know about government subsidies and 81 per cent had no idea they had been scrapped.
Head of Motor Insurance at Compare the Market Dan Hutson said: “The government needs to make up its mind as to whether it fully supports electric cars or not.
“On the one hand, MPs are eager to accelerate transformation of the UK to being an electric car nation, and on the other it is cutting the subsidies which would make these cars more affordable.
“Our research shows that 61% of people think the government should be doing more to encourage the use of electric cars.
“The desire to go green is there, but the upfront costs as well as “range anxiety” and an inadequate number of charging points across the country, make that an impossibility for many.
“It’s worth noting that nearly one in ten motorists are worried that the insurance costs for electric vehicles are very high.
“As with petrol and diesel cars, the size, power and cost of an electric vehicle will also have an effect on your premium, so buyers should do their research if they are looking to switch to an electric car.
“For example, a Nissan Leaf – the most often quoted electric vehicle on our site – would, on average, cost just over £500 to insure as it is relatively small, low power and cost effective, but a Tesla Model-S would, on average, cost over £1000 to insure owing to its size, power and high value.
“According to our data, the average electric car costs £632.32 to insure, however this varies significantly across different regions and vehicle makes and models, as well as driver profile.”