Electric van being charged

BEVs: Charging not price is the crucial change barrier

20% of consumers will consider buying a battery electric vehicle (BEV) when they next change car, while only 3% own one today. This encouraging insight gained by research undertaken for MotoNovo Finance needs to be seen in the context of interest in hybrid cars, where nearly half of consumers will consider buying one.

Digging deeper into peoples’ future car buying plans, the perceived price of BEVs is an issue, especially for lower household income groups, with 42% of people citing price as a purchase barrier. However, even if there was price parity between ICE and BEVs, just 13% of people expect to go electric when they next change cars.

Rather than price, the dominant factor dissuading greater customer interest in BEVs centres upon charging. Factors including the public charging infrastructure, range/range anxiety, inability to fit a home charger, the cost of electricity, and, in some cases, a straightforward desire not to charge a car at home all scored prominently as reasons to favour a shift towards hybrid car options.

Debbie McKay

Debbie McKay

It is, as MotoNovo’s Commercial Director Debbie McKay observes, a reason for a greater focus on charging and range to improve customer understanding of how electric cars can meet the motoring needs of many people; as she notes, “The average commuting distance in the UK is a little under twenty miles, and just 14% of commuters travel over 42 miles a day.  In fact, according to UK government data, 99% of car journeys are less than 100 miles. The range of pretty much every BEV will cover these distances with ease, with the average BEV range in the UK identified as 211 miles, according to energy company Octopus.”

Data apart, there can be little question that with almost a quarter of people believing that the range available to BEV drivers isn’t good enough between charges, while one in five don’t want to have to think about charging their vehicle, addressing these perceptions is a critical step that needs to be prioritised as Debbie concludes,

“Not only will pretty much any BEV meet the needs of the 99% of people whose car journeys are under 100 miles, but for anyone with a home charger, the cost of their travel will be reduced when compared to a comparable ICE car, and they will not need to spend time locating or using a petrol station.

“All industry stakeholders need to communicate this message far more proactively. At the same time, for authenticity and transparency, it would be better to share real-world range information so that people understand the impact of winter weather/daylight and the use of air conditioning on the range.”

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