The biggest concern among prospective electric car buyers – the vehicle’s range – could be being driven away after new research about how far people actually travel now, shows that it’s well within the capabilities of the latest-generation EVs.
The findings, from car benefit scheme provider (and TCE partner) Tusker, reveal that the majority of UK motorists drive less than 100 miles a week and only undertake a journey of more than 100 miles once a month.
With the average range of an electric car now standing at 193 miles – and many models being able to far exceed this – the worry of being stranded at the side of the road with a flat battery, and nowhere to charge it, is fast vanishing up the electric highway.
With most drivers’ thoughts turning to leaner and greener motoring in the future, and the UK just nine years away from a total ban on petrol and diesel car production, one in four motorists now consider an electric vehicle a priority when choosing a new car. This compares with one in seven just a year ago.
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Total cost of ownership now the priority
The cost of running the vehicle, the cost of buying it and the style and image of the brand were the top three priorities for drivers choosing their next electric car.
Business users and company car drivers have also become increasingly aware of the tax benefits of driving an EV compared with an oil-burning car. Although the initial cost of an electric car is still considered to be high, the current 1% benefit-in-kind (BiK) tax on an EV is becoming highly attractive to business users.
But whatever peoples’ views are on electric vehicles versus petrol/diesel ones are, it’s clear that the number of buyers taking an electric car has risen greatly in the last year while, importantly, their commuting habits haven’t changed for several years now.
In fact, in many cases, their journeys have reduced – a legacy of the Covid pandemic and enforced lockdown which has kept people at home for months.
Even among electric car drivers, the most popular mileage sits between 21 and 100 miles per week on average, which means that most journeys could still be carried out with an electric car, most of which can travel much further than that on a single charge.
Range concerns reflect growing interest in EVs
Tusker’s research shows that the main concerns of prospective EV customers remain charging availability and driving range, which echoes every other recent survey of car buyers.
One of the reasons for continued concerns about range and charging is simply that more people than ever are now evaluating an electric car as their next form of transport.
However, the research shows that those concerns are significantly lower among drivers who have already made the switch to EVs, suggesting that people are realising that the reality of driving and charging an electric car is much easier than they had feared.
With the average EV battery range now equivalent to more than a week’s worth of typical driving, the urgency of needing to charge an electric car every day is no longer an issue. And with more public charging points being installed up and down the country every day, charging an electric car has never been more convenient.