Half of motorists want government to do more to make EVs affordable

Half of the UK’s drivers believe the government needs to help make electric cars more affordable.

With a General Election just weeks away a new survey of motorists found many drivers still believed that cost was a major obstacle to EV uptake, along with concerts around charger availability and cost.

Average EV prices are falling as more affordable models come to market and some manufacturers cut prices in the face of the ZEV mandate. However, there is still a feeling among some motorists that more still needs to be done to help drivers choose an electric car.

The research by Startline Used Car Tracker found that exactly 50% wanted the government to intervene to make EVs more affordable and 35% wanted other intervention to make it easier to buy an EV.

Previously, the plug-in car grant offered up to £1,500 off the cost of a new car and in recent months there have been some calls for the Treasury to halve VAT on EVs to entice more buyers.

Alongside the calls for financial incentives, a third of drivers still believe the government should provide more money to make public chargers more widely available and a quarter want the government to bring down the cost of public charging. Currently, prices at an average rapid charger are three times the domestic energy cap.

According to the survey, 29% of motorists say that more government support would make it more likely their next car would be an EV. Conversely, just 4% report that their next car will be electric whatever the government does.

Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “The research shows that there is a ready market for electric cars but that cost is a worry for motorists – whether that means buying the vehicle, getting a charger, or paying for the power needed – and they want financial help to make the move away from petrol and diesel.

“It appears there is a definite feeling out there that the government could do more to support people who want to make the switch to electric, something that echoes comments made by motor manufacturers and trade bodies in recent months.

“This perhaps isn’t really a key issue for most voters but it’ll be interesting to see whether any action is taken in this area by whoever gains power at the general election.”

The research also found that 12% of people say there is no incentive the government could offer to make them buy an electric car, while 11% believe that the government is doing enough already to support the electric car market.

Burgess added: “These figures are interesting in themselves. From the media, you could get the impression that there is widespread resistance to the idea of buying an electric car but the research shows that only about one in 10 people feel that way.”

Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.

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