New trials are under way with Motability Scheme customers to ensure that electric driving is as accessible as possible to people with a disability.
The pilots - which are being run by Motability and consultancy firm Founders Intelligence - aim to find innovative ways to support Motability Scheme customers make the switch from petrol and diesel to electric powertrains.
A barrier for many current Scheme customers is the lack of home charging facilities for EVs, but trials with Zap Map, Charge Fairy, Co Charger and Bonnet are underway to find out just how accessible each service is.
Around 25% of UK households don’t have access to a driveway, and this makes charging an EV much more complicated. It's even higher for Motability Scheme customers, with over 40% of drivers on the Motability Scheme estimated to have no access to off-street parking close to their home, and as a result are likely to have no choice but to rely on the public charging network.
A recent Motability study found that 71% of disabled drivers feel that a lack of accessible charging infrastructure could halt their plans to make the switch to an EV.
Jonathan Jenkins, head of innovation at Motability Operations, said: “As more of our Motability Scheme customers transition to EVs it’s vital that there is worry-free access to charging for everyone.
“These important initiatives will help the increasing number of customers who want to make the switch to an electric-powered vehicle but are unable to charge at home.
“I’m looking forward to partnering with more organisations and building on these initial pilots and the vital results they will deliver for our customers.”
The UK Government has set a deadline of 2030 for the end of new petrol and diesel car sales, which means that Motability Scheme customers will have to make the switch to plug-in vehicles over the next decade.
All EVs leased through the Motability Scheme come with comprehensive insurance for up to 3 drivers, servicing and maintenance, full RAC breakdown assistance, replacement tyres, replacement windscreens and a 60,000-mile allowance over 3 years.
A free home charger is also included with the lease of 100% electric vehicles, and this option will suit most Motability customers with off-street parking at home. Customers who don't have suitable off-street parking can instead choose access to the BP Pulse network of public charging points.
A selection of popular and helpful driving and access adaptations can be also be added to the vehicle, many at no extra cost.