The reasons why people want to buy an EV (and why others don’t)

Cheaper running costs topped the list of reasons for motorists considering an electric vehicle, according to new research.

The findings were drawn from automotive advice firm Autovia and its ‘Driver Power Shopper’ study, which analysed the opinions and behaviour of up to 60,000 participants a year, over the past two years.

Despite environmental benefits being typically touted by the government as the best reason to go electric, Autovia’s Driver Power Shopper research confirms that running costs is ranked as the top reason to buy an EV by most people.

But economic considerations also top the reasons for holding back on buying an EV, with ‘too expensive to buy’ cited by most car buyers who bought a different type of car over the past two years.

However, ‘range anxiety’ remains a tough challenge for the industry. Although purchase cost was a factor mentioned by more people who didn’t choose an EV than any other issue, ‘distance/range limitations’ was listed as the biggest worry overall.

A quarter of respondents also admitted to having an “emotional attachment” to petrol and diesel engines. In addition, 17% of people who chose not to go electric for their current car cited too few charge points as their main reason.

Autovia editor-in-chief, Steve Fowler, said: “The growing impetus among consumers to want to buy an electric vehicle is well documented, but the reasons they didn’t choose an EV as their latest car are important for the industry to understand.=

“Clearly the upfront cost of EVs and worries about charging remain the biggest obstacles but the depth of our latest research also reveals signs of hope for the EV sector.

“For example, only one in four people who initially considered an EV or a hybrid in the past 24 months went on to buy something else – typically a petrol car. And although 60% of drivers did not even consider an EV or a hybrid last time, those who plan to buy one next time are now in the majority.

“More good news for EV makers comes from the fact that, despite initial purchase prices putting many people off an EV over the past two years, they are increasingly perceived as cheaper to run. Lower running costs are cited most often as the top reason for considering an EV, which suggests consumers are becoming more confident in EVs.”

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