MORE work needs to be done on making electric vehicles more user-friendly if the Government is to meet a deadline of 2030 for the phasing out of new combustion engines cars.
A study for Kwik Fit has revealed that just one in twelve (eight per cent) of car owners expect their next vehicle to be fully electric, with researchers exploring the biggest factors which are putting drivers off opting for these models.
Improving the charging infrastructure will be key to motorists switching to electric.
A lack of fast charging points in the areas people commonly drive is the most frequently given reason for motorists not considering a fully electric vehicle (37 per cent).
As well as charging when on the road, 30 per cent of drivers said they would not be able to charge their car at home. This highlights the need for more flexible solutions such as in-lamppost charging points or other options for local communities, especially those in urban areas without dedicated parking spaces.
The second most commonly quoted barrier to purchase has long been a primary focus of motor manufacturers, that of the restrictions on range from a single charge, which was cited by over a third of people (35 per cent).
Range will become an ever increasing focus of testing and car reviews, however Kwik Fit believes that alongside a technological focus, it is important to encourage drivers to consider their real world driving habits and be realistic about how big a range they really need on a daily or weekly basis.
An industry wide or government campaign could help to reassure drivers that for many, range may not be the concern that they believe it to be.
A third of drivers are currently put off by the increased cost of an electric car over an equivalent sized petrol, diesel or hybrid car, while cost and potential hassle also influence 26 per cent of drivers who worry that the battery won't last very long and will need replaced.
As the technology develops the real-term costs are likely to come down, but greater effort could be put into examining financing ‘carrots' and highlighting overall costs of ownership to encourage drivers to make the switch.
The Kwik Fit research did reveal that one in six drivers could be influenced by the behaviour of their friends and relatives with some 17 per cent saying they would want to know more people who have an electric car before they commit.