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New Government report signals end of the road for electric vehicle ownership myths

By Kyle Linsay
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - 11:00

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Audi A3

A new government report has realigned long-held beliefs about electric car ownership and usage patterns.

Echoing points made by government and industry electric vehicle body Go Ultra Low, the Department for Transport (DfT) report, entitled ‘Uptake of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles in the UK’, draws on the research from almost 50 UK and international sources, and points to a significant change in the way motorists use and own plug-in vehicles.

Contrary to popular perceptions, evidence from the report shows that 82% of Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV)-owning households in the UK use their electric car as their main vehicle, while for 20% of owners an electric vehicle is the only car.

The report also found that ULEV usage is not restricted to short-distance journeys, as per previous predictions. In fact, plug-ins are being driven for comparable mileages to petrol and diesel cars. Where an ULEV is used as the main car in the household, the average annual mileage is approximately 8,850 miles. This is greater than with the estimated UK average for all cars of 8,430 miles, according to National Travel Survey data.

Importantly, the report demonstrates that the vast majority of ULEV owners in the UK are highly satisfied with their ownership experience. In a UK trial, 90% said they would recommend an electric vehicle to others. Furthermore, the evidence shows that most ULEV owners are positive about buying another plug-in vehicle in the future.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “As this report shows, plug-in vehicles are cheap to run, can be used every day and owner satisfaction is incredibly high.

“More and more families and businesses are choosing plug-in cars and vans to help them get on in life. The government is investing £500 million over the next five years in ultra low emission vehicles, innovative technology and charging infrastructure to support jobs and growth and keep Britain as a global leader for ULEVs.”

Hetal Shah, Head of Go Ultra Low, said: “This new government report goes a long way to challenge the misconceptions many people still have when it comes to plug-in vehicles and reflects what is happening in the market place – demand is increasing rapidly, up 256% year on year in the UK.

“Brits are really starting to wake up to benefits of electric motoring. With driving costs from as little as 2p a mile, coupled with the wide range of cars now available, from city run-arounds and family hatchbacks to 4x4s and sports cars, there’s an electric car to suit almost every lifestyle.”

As well as looking at usage and experience of ULEVs, the 60-page report delves into other factors influencing ULEV uptake such as public incentives and the growing charging infrastructure. For full details, download the DfT report, Uptake of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles in the UK, which is under strict embargo until 00.01hrs on 13 August 2015.

Go Ultra Low exists to help motorists understand the benefits, cost savings and capabilities of the raft of new ultra low emission vehicles. The collaborative campaign is the first of its kind, bringing together a consortium of seven leading vehicle manufacturers (Audi, BMW, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Volkswagen), Government and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Further details are available at www.goultralow.com.

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