The RAC says the findings of a new survey ‘clearly highlight’ a growing willingness among drivers to opt for a zero-emission car – but warns that upfront costs ‘remain a barrier’.
In total, 9% of the 3,000 respondents to the survey said they intended to ‘go electric’ next time around – up from 6% in 2019 and 3% a year earlier.
However, 78% of respondents think that pure electric cars are still too expensive when compared to conventional vehicles of a similar size.
More than half (53%) said they would like to see VAT on zero-emission vehicles either cut or abolished entirely, with a slightly smaller proportion (48%) favouring a scrappage scheme to make switching from a conventionally powered one to a battery-electric model affordable.
The RAC says making vehicles more affordable is not the only thing that could entice drivers into a pure electric car. It stresses the importance of ensuring the network of public charge points keeps pace with take-up.
This is because more than four-in-10 respondents (43%) say they want the Government to set a binding national target for access to public chargepoints – such as ensuring 95% of the population live no further than five miles from the nearest chargepoint.
Rod Dennis, RAC data insight spokesman, said: “With 2030 now clearly set as the date for the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, momentum behind getting more of us into electric vehicles is building.
“It’s clear that an increasing proportion of drivers are responding, with nearly one-in-10 now planning to opt for a pure electric next time they change their car.
“But the single biggest barrier to a driver choosing an electric car over one powered by petrol or diesel has to be cost.
“Although good finance leasing deals and offers such as free home charging for a set period can help, it appears to be the case that the price of many new eclectic vehicles remains prohibitively high for a lot of people, with most drivers keen to see more financial help from the Government to bring costs down.”