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RAC Editorial

More motorists consider electric vehicle switch

24 Feb 2012 at 14:09

With continuing fuel price rises and ever tightening emissions laws proving to be two of the most political hot potatoes in the automotive sector, electric vehicles are more and more becoming a viable proposition for personal motoring.

And now new research from EV charging supplier Chargemaster suggests that motorists are taking note and thinking about the future.

A survey of 1,000 people showed people warming to the idea of electric motoring and that 58 per cent of people in the market for a new car would consider an EV – rising to 81 per cent in London.

Urban environments like the nation’s capital are best suited to electric propulsion. With zero tailpipe emissions, questionable air quality in large towns and cities could be improved, while the case for charging infrastructure in built up urban areas is much stronger – especially London.

Journeys in cities are also generally short distance too, meaning the drawbacks of EVs – namely range – are almost entirely mitigated.

The UK now has more electric vehicle charging points than it has electric cars on the road, according to Department for Transport figures with 2,500 outlets compared to just 2,149 electric-powered cars sold since 2006.

Add together the rapidly improving state of the technology, stronger infrastructure for charging – therefore avoiding the number one disadvantage of an EV – and the £5,000 government subsidy for environmentally friendly cars and the appeal of the EV looks promising.

With fuel prices seeming to rise perpetually after diesel hit a record average of 143.05p per litre last week, and potential for fuel costs to rise further still following crude oil topping £79 per barrel and Chancellor George Osborne’s plans for a 3p increase in fuel duty, EVs are rapidly becoming more feasible for motorists to run.

And it’s young drivers that are more likely to make the switch – growing up with the developing technology, those aged 25 to 34 are the most likely to embrace a switch to electric motoring, too. 77 per cent would even consider giving up traditional fuel.

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