Consumer awareness of EVs in the UK has grown significantly over the past few years. A 2014 government survey found little interest in going electric: 56 percent of those questioned hadn’t thought about buying an EV, 14 percent said they had decided against it, and 23 percent said nothing could ever convince them to buy an electric vehicle.
Charging provider NewMotion, which operates over 50,000 charge points throughout Europe, has released a new report that shows a considerably higher level of interest. Of 3,000 consumers surveyed, 69 percent said they would consider switching to an EV in the future.
NewMotion attributes the shift to changes in technology and governmental policies. The UK government has enacted a number of pro-EV measures, and even Her Majesty the Queen mentioned EVs in her annual speech this year.
However, NewMotion’s survey did find a lack of knowledge about current electrified options. Over 76% of the consumers surveyed did not know what EV stands for, and a majority guessed that the average EV has a range of only 63 miles. Many had no idea how charging works – almost 20% of respondents seemed to believe that one charged an EV from some sort of “portable battery pack.”
“At the moment general consumer awareness of EVs is pretty low in the UK,” said NewMotion UK Country Manager Sander van der Veen. “However, this is going to have to change pretty quickly as the world around us adapts to a new normal. It’s the responsibility of governments, car manufacturers and companies like NewMotion, who support the charging infrastructure, to help raise awareness and educate the next generation of car users.”
“There’s definitely an appetite from consumers to move away from the traditional petrol/diesel model of transport;” Mr. van der Veen continued. “Yet it isn’t as simple as just changing to an EV, we need to help provide a better understanding of how they work and what changes drivers need to make to allow EVs to work for them.”
Image by Nicolas Raymond